Computer-aided concurrent engineering in refrigeration system design

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Virginia Tech

Computer-Aided Concurrent Engineering Design (CACED) is an emerging field which stems from the realization that a holistic design approach, simultaneously considering all requirements, will result in systems that can be fielded quickly, and at the lowest practical lifetime cost. The philosophy inherent to CACED is that in a multi-faceted design arena, requirements such as cost, performance, reliability, producability, size and supportability will conflict. Traditionally, designs are established then "audited" for compliance with various requirements. Subsequent "corrections" might then create new problems, but they certainly would slow the process and probably result in a less than optimum solution from the overall, long-term view.

To concurrently (or simultaneously) consider numerous interdependent design issues, in order to optimize within constraints, requires an application-specific model and considerable computing power. The thrust of CACED is to develop appropriate models that allow designers to quickly establish and judge alternatives, simultaneously evaluating the compromises between often conflicting requirements.

Computer hardware is readily available to perform design evaluation tasks--the challenge lies in establishing appropriate equations and a framework in which they are to be effectively used. This report explains CACED structure, illustrates a practical application to refrigeration system design, and suggests areas of further study.