Automatic data acquisition and control are becoming increasingly important as it offers many advantages like automatic monitoring and control of a process, automatic report generation, and automatic performance evaluation and analysis. All these ultimately lead to improvement in productivity and efficiency. The subject of PC Based Data Acquisition Control has been introduced into the undergraduate curriculum and many existing laboratory experiments have been automated. In this paper, two of these experiments are described.
An Armfield™ combined Convection and Radiation accessory (HT10X) was used to demonstrate combined convection and radiation heat transfer from a cylinder to its surroundings. The heated cylinder experiment was computerized using a Visual Basic™ program, a Gateway series personal computer and a Data Acquisition and Control Unit. The program was written to monitor and control the Heat Transfer Unit (HT14X™). The paper describes the experiments, their interfacing to the computer, and the software. The program controls the voltage, current, upstream air temperature, and rotates the cylinder to measure the local heat transfer coefficient. The results of the analysis are presented in tabular and graphical form.