Heat Flux Sensor Development for GE Appliances (Smart Cookie)
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Honors Theses; 2019
GE Appliances strives to design an oven that bakes every type of food exactly to the consumer’s liking every time. This objective can be achieved by mapping the input parameters of the oven design that can be controlled- such as heating element placement, temperature, and cycle time- to output variables by which the consumer knowingly or unknowingly judges the bake quality - such as the food’s crispiness, color, and the evenness of the bake. Both the convective and radiative heat flux inside the oven directly affect the bake quality, however GE Appliances does not currently have an effective and affordable way to measure these two variables. The purpose of this research is to develop a prototype heat flux sensor that GE Appliances can easily manufacture and use throughout their testing facility to measure the convective and radiative heat flux. The data collection and analysis methods have previously been simulated and verified by former graduate student Suraj Kant. He also created a first-generation prototype and established general parameters for the heat flux sensor design. A second-generation prototype will be created from this baseline to improve several aspects of the design. First, specific improvements to the first generation’s pin polishing methods, insulation, and body shape will be developed in order to increase accuracy and durability. The second-generation design will then incorporate these specific improvements along with wireless data collection, a self-contained cooling system, and better manufacturability and ease of maintenance for long term use. The overall goal of this phase of work is the development of a durable and easy to use heat flux sensor that can record heat flux values at a sampling rate of at least 1Hz from within an oven for a period of one-half hour at 450 F. This heat flux sensor will enable GE Appliances to record convective and radiative heat flux inside their test ovens to better understand the effect of varying numerous oven parameters. This will eventually enable the creation of an accurate model of the oven, shortening the calibration and testing phases by enabling the oven designers to understand the relationships between parameters before a new oven is ever built.
Academic Major: Mechanical Engineering