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(Advisors: Prof. Devesh Ranjan & Prof. Suresh Menon)
"Numerical Investigations of Fuel-Oxidizer Mixing on the Propagation of a Detonation Wave"
Friday, April 1
Montgomery Knight Building 317
Recently, the scientific community is migrating toward exploring the use of a detonation wave for engineering purposes to innovate combustor technologies and increase efficiency. The Rotating Detonation Engine (RDE) has shown tremendous advantages over the other concepts due to its low complexity and continuous self-sustained propagation of a detonation within the combustion chamber. In an RDE one or multiple detonations propagate azimuthally around an annular chamber with high-speed discrete injectors. Many experiments have shown that the injector configuration can lead to poor mixing between propellants that ultimately leads to substantial decrease in performance and stability of the wave.
Numerical advances have made it possible to perform calculations in order to predict the main characteristics of the flow-field inside such devices. This thesis focuses to improve the understanding of detonation waves propagating in non-premixed mixtures using high-fidelity numerical simulations. This work will assess the effects of fuel distribution and mixture preparation on the formation and propagation of a detonation wave. First, a full-scale H2-air three-dimensional non-premixed RDE with radial injection is simulated. Extensive analysis is performed when the fuel and air mass flow rate are varied to hold a unity global equivalence ratio. To explore a wider range of conditions and reduce the computational cost, a new canonical setup is then developed and investigated. The main differences with the previous configuration are absence of curvature effects and the reduction of fuel injector number. Here, the role of mixing state is investigated through a statistical description to suggest and develop a novel regime map based solely on the mixture ahead of the wave. Thus, the influence of the current studies can potentially aid in the development of new injection strategies to promote the steady operation of novel detonation-based combustors.
- Prof. Devesh Ranjan – School of Mechanical Engineering (advisor)
- Prof. Suresh Menon – School of Aerospace Engineering (advisor)
- Prof. Joseph Oefelein – School of Aerospace Engineering
- Prof. Wenting Sun – School of Aerospace Engineering
- Prof. Ellen Mazumdar – School of Mechanical Engineering