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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Lab brian.karlberg

Surplus: What, Why, and How

Sometimes it’s necessary to remove the junk, and here’s how we do it:

  1. #1Log in to myFacilities with your WSU Network ID
  2. #2In the list, select the link for Work Request
  3. #3 Select “Request pick-up or drop-off of Surplus items”
  4. #4 Fill out the items to be surplused, and then choose “Landeen, Gayle” in the dropdown menu for approval authority.
  5. Submit the form, and you’re done!


Projectors Ceiling-mounted in TFRB 108

Projector as mounted

Andrew and Matt designed and installed ceiling mounts for two 40 plus pound projectors in TFRB 108. The purpose of these projectors is to facilitate simultaneous A/V presentations when working on and discussing projects. Repurposed hardware was utilized wherever possible. The result was rigid, safe, and secure.

Conductive Heat Flow Analysis For Vortex Tube Experiment

Recent data from the vortex tube experiment showed a larger temperature differential than expected. Because the vortex tube operates at hydrogen input stream temperatures of about 120K, the goal is to isolate it from external sources of heat by means of a vacuum chamber. This allows any observed temperature differential to be solely attributable to the vortex tube effect as described by the kinetic impinging model or solid core rotational model. The basic experimental setup is depicted in the simple sketch below:

Vacuum Chamber

Our initial assessment of the potential sources of the temperature discrepancy included the conductive heat-leak through the copper inlet and outlet pipes that connect to the vortex tube through the bulkhead in the vacuum chamber. We assumed one-dimensional heat transfer through a copper pipe and modeled this heat-leak with the following equations:

Derivation of Variables

Here, Q is heat flow, k is the thermal conductivity (units of W/(m*K), which varies based on temperature), A is the cross-sectional area of the copper pipe, ΔT is the temperature change, and ΔX is the length of the pipe. Because the coefficient of thermal conductivity varies with temperature, we used a vertical lookup function within EES (Engineering Equation Solver, the software we use to build these models) where k is referenced to a table of conductivity in one Kelvin increments. To quantify the rate of heat transfer, we integrated k with respect to T to calculate power (heat flow) per unit area which was expressed in watts on the right side of the equation, as shown below.

Original 1 dimensional

However, the approaches shown above neglected the different materials (i.e. brass, copper, aluminum) that comprised the pipe fittings, nor did they account for the varying geometry of said pipe fittings. To further develop the model, we viewed the system as a “thermal circuit”, similar to what is depicted below.

Analog Equation

This approach allows for the addition of “thermal resistors” in parallel and series, much like when applying Ohm’s law to an electrical circuit. In taking this approach, we can model each different pipe, fitting, and component as an individual thermal resistor and sum them up to find an equivalent “thermal resistance” for the system. Once the equivalent thermal resistance for the system is found, the computation of the heat transfer rate depends only on the temperature difference.

As the next step, we plan on determining the thermal resistance of the vortex tube piping by constructing a full model of the system in EES based on this approach.




H2 Refuel Inventory Management Plan

WSU H2 Refuel Inventory System

Project Plan 2015.06.16

The purpose of WSU H2 Refuel’s inventory system is to facilitate maximum uptime of research and development operations. It is based on lean manufacturing practices originating from the Toyota Production System (TPS). Several lean practices are:

  • 5S (sort, sweep, etc.) – A philosophy that recognizes the far-reaching benefits of achieving and maintaining a world-class level of organization of materials and information. It requires understanding and commitment from every person involved thus must be part of the organizational culture and brand.
  • Kanban – This means “signal” and necessitates mechanisms be established in the reordering of consumables by means of establishing minimum order points (MOP).
  • Kaizen – continuous improvement; the goal of an effective inventory management system is not a state of perfection but is adaptability (see constructional law of thermodynamics).
  • Kaizen Event – a team activity for process improvement: brainstorming, decision-making, and implementation.
  • Kreitsu – Suppliers are viewed as partners rather than competitors
  • Just In Time – a philosophy and system for minimizing holding costs and outsourcing non-value-added activities.

Two priorities specific to WSU H2 Refuel are:

  • Locations – assignment, documentation, and utilization of locations for every piece of material (tools, parts, experiments, etc.) within the lab. This is the heart of 5S and requires creativity to implement efficiently by maintaining effectiveness while avoiding over-structure.
  • Labeling – This process ties the system together and offers relatively high return on investment of effort toward achieving higher states of 5S.

Development of meta-categories in which to classify specific items is the first step in this process. This structure then cross-references specific item locations with maps of the facility and provides the framework for labeling activities.

Ventilation System for TFRB Soldering Station


Matt and Andrew attach cabling for fume-hood support. The hood was salvaged from the existing facility. It was previously used as a part of a sawdust collection system that consolidated the sawdust from the wood shop that previously resided in TFRB. It will now collect fumes from soldering and brazing processes and will feed to ducting that vents to the outside of the building via the roof.



Above is the completed installation of the fume-hood. The next stage is to run 8″ ducting through the hole in ceiling, install an in-line blower fan, and connect the new ducting to the existing section upstairs that vents to the roof. When completed, this system will lend itself to maintaining quality air in which to conduct our hydrogen fueling system engineering operations.


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