Crystal Xcelsius for Engineering and Scientific
At first glance, it may seem that Crystal Xcelsius appeals only to business executives, IT managers, financial consultants, or data presenters. However, it also provides engineers and scientists with a very powerful tool to transform the most complex of scientific spreadsheet-calculations into breathtaking visual calculators and applications. This article will show how you can use Crystal Xcelsius for visualizing a computation procedure known as Reynolds Number calculation. It's intended for moderate to advanced users that are proficient at using both Excel and Crystal Xcelsius.
Reynolds Number is a dimensionless combination of variables that is important in the study of fluid flow through pipes. Reynolds number is defined as:
where: ρ fluid density (kg/m 3), u fluid velocity
(m/sec), D pipe diameter (m), and μ fluid viscosity (Ν*s/m 2)
In this example we will calculate the Reynolds Number for two cases: a) water flow at several temperatures and b) flow for some liquids at standard conditions (20 oC, 1atm)
Figures 1 shows the sheet for the first case.
The format for this sheet is as follows:
=IF(B18<=2000;"The Flow is Laminar";IF(B18>=4000;"The Flow is Turbulent";"The flow is Transitional"))
Crystal Xcelsius Implementation
With Crystal Xcelsius we can transform this complex spreadsheet into a beautiful visual-application. The user will have the ability to input all the needed data and then see the results. Here's how to create the model:
1. Create a new Crystal Xcelsius file.
2. Import the Excel spreadsheet by pressing the button and the browsing for the file.
3. Design your background using the Art & Backgrounds and Text components.
4. Next, insert a Combo Box Selector component, found inside the Selector Components:
5. Double click on the Combo Box to open its Properties Panel, and link the component to the Excel data using the same properties shown here in Figure 2:
Configuring the Combo Box in this ways allows you to select a Temperature Value and place the corresponding value of ρ and μ into cells D3 and E3 respectively.
6. Insert a Input Text Component to select the Pipe's Diameter:
We want the user to be able to set the value for the Diameter of Pipe. Insert an Input Text Component onto your Crystal Xcelsius model, and configure its Properties as shown in Figure 3.
This input box lets the user place whatever number he wants into cell B17. Every time the user changes the input value, the cell is automatically updated, and all the calculations are adjusted to reflect the new value.
7. Insert a Slider to determine fluid velocity:
We also want our user to determine the value for fluid velocity. We could use the same kind of Input Text component to do this, but let's try a more sophisticated method.using the Slider Component.
A Slider component lets us change the pre-set value inside our Crystal Xcelsius model, simply by dragging the slider across the screen. In this case, we're changing the value that corresponds to the cell B17.
8. Sharing the Results:
Now, our Crystal Xcelsius model has all the necessary
data it needs in order to calculate Reynolds Number. Our next step is to
build the display that will showcase our final results (Figure 5).
Finally, we use the XY Chart Component in order to graphically present the Reynolds Number as a function of Temperature. The XY Chart is generally the most useful for scientists and engineers. Insert the XY Chart, then configure its Properties as shown in Figure 6.
Crystal Xcelsius is a marvelous tool for presenting the results of scientific and engineering spreadsheet calculations. The ability to recalculate data visually, simply by entering data into a field or moving a slider across the screen makes Crystal Xcelsius an essential piece of software for all scientists and engineers.
About the Author
Nick Stefanakis is a Consultant Practicing Engineer and an Associate Engineer at the National Technical University of Athens - School of Chemical Engineers. His current research involves Solar Energy, with a specific focus on Solar Assisted Air-Conditioning. Nick also works professionally in developing spreadsheet applications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org