Teaching Students about Two-Dimensional Heat Transfer Effects in Buildings, Building Components, Equipment, and Appliances Using THERM 2.0
THERM 2.0 is a state-of-the-art software program, available for free, that uses the finite-element method to model steady-state, two-dimensional heat-transfer effects. It is being used internationally in graduate and undergraduate laboratories and classes as an interactive educational tool to help students gain a better understanding of heat transfer. THERM offers students a powerful simulation engine combined with a simple, interactive interface and graphic results. Although it was developed to model thermal properties of building components such as windows, walls, doors, roofs, and foundations, it is useful for modeling thermal bridges in many other contexts, such as the design of equipment. These capabilities make THERM a useful teaching tool in classes on: heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC); energy conservation; building design; and other subjects where heat-transfer theory and applications are important. THERMs state-of-the-art interface and graphic presentation allow students to see heat-transfer paths and to learn how changes in materials affect heat transfer. THERM is an excellent tool for helping students understand the practical application of heat-transfer theory.