The Thermofluids Laboratory is primarily used for undergraduate teaching and final year projects in the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering.
The lab contains a range of apparatus to enable students to investigate aspects of renewable energy, fluid mechanics, combustion, heat transfer and thermodynamics – a highly specialised area of physics that deals with the relationship between heat and energy.
The Thermofluids Laboratory also houses the University's Formula Student team, UP Racing. The Formula Student programme challenges students to conceive, design, build, cost and compete as a team with a small, single-seat racing car in a series of static and dynamic competitions.
The programme also develops enterprise and innovation skills – such as planning, project management, financial management and team work – and each year, the student-led team recruits new members from courses as diverse as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics, business, product design and computing.
After the long process of designing, building and testing, the cars are put through their paces at a national competition at Silverstone and a European competition at Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona.
- 2 wind tunnels with a lift/drag measuring system, digital and analogue multi-channel manometer, and smoke tracing capability
- Venturi meter with attached manometer
- Ricardo petrol engine with variable compression ratio, incorporating a measurement system for break power, cylinder pressure, timing, engine speed, air/fuel flow rates and temperatures, and exhaust temperature
- Ruston diesel engine
- Volkswagen diesel engine with engine management system
- Solar water heater with instrumentation
- PV panel with battery charger
- Water towing tank
- Heat pump/refrigeration unit with instrumentation
- Air compressor
- Total Combined Heat and Power system
- Hilton combustion unit with instrumentation and gas analyser
- Hydraulic benches