After a second meeting with Professor Haden, the professor I’m working with on the KEEN Research Project, we’ve come up with several ideas to work on in the coming months.The topic of interest that we’ve decided to enrich in Thermodynamics is the different cycles, as those were the most interesting subjects studied in the class.
First, there’s the Rankine Cycle, which is the cycle used by power plants to generate electricity. In addition to finding an online tour of a power plant or something that will give students an idea of how the power plant operates, I’m also looking up ways the Rankine Cycle can be improved. Obviously, you want to decrease the entropy generated at each step, but how?
For the other cycles, the Otto and Diesel cycles, I’m trying to get a physical engine that shows how the cycles operate. So if anyone has a car engine or lawn mower engine or whatever that I could use, I’d be extremely grateful if I could use it. Just like the Rankine Cycle, students would have to find ways that they could decrease entropy.
There’s also talks of adding a project to the Thermodynamics course that spans the second half of the semester, where students form groups and learn more about the cycles.