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Research Papers

Numerical Modeling of Regenerative Cooling System for Large Expansion Ratio Rocket Engines

[+] Author and Article Information
Manikanda Rajagopal

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue School of Engineering & Technology,
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis,
Indianapolis, IN 46202
e-mail: manigopaal@gmail.com; mrajagop@iupui.edu

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received December 17, 2013; final manuscript received October 13, 2014; published online November 25, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Bengt Sunden.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 7(1), 011012 (Mar 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: TSEA-13-1207; doi: 10.1115/1.4028979 History: Received December 17, 2013; Revised October 13, 2014; Online November 25, 2014

In this study, the performance of regenerative cooling system for large expansion ratio rocket engines (Ae/At ∼ 100) is investigated numerically. During combustion and gas expansion, the walls of the combustion chamber and the rocket nozzle are exposed to high temperature gas (∼3500 K), which can ultimately lead to structural failure. Therefore, to protect the hardware from thermal failure, a regenerative cooling system for a cryogenic rocket engine that uses fuel (liquid hydrogen (LH)) or oxidizer (liquid oxygen (LOX)) as the cooling medium is considered. Three-dimensional simulations have been performed for both constant and variable fluid properties. The influence of the thermal properties of the material and thickness of the nozzle wall on conductive heat transfer has also been investigated. The effect of radiative heat transfer when there is no regenerative cooling system has been analyzed. In addition, heat transfer enhancement for different turbulence models and the influence of coolant used (both the fuel and oxidizer) is also investigated. It is evident from the results that a properly designed regenerative cooling system can maintain the hot side wall at a temperature well below the melting point of the wall material, which ensures the protection of nozzle hardware from thermal failure. Also, the predicted pressure drop is found to be 0.7 bar, which meets the design requirement. Numerical predictions are validated with the data available in literature.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of rocket nozzle with regenerative cooling system

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Fig. 2

Variation of gas-side wall temperature for various mesh sizes

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Fig. 3

Grid employed for the simulation shown in midplane

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Fig. 4

Axial variation of static temperature and velocity in uncooled nozzle

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Fig. 5

Axial variation of Mach number in uncooled nozzle

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Fig. 6

Axial variation of static temperature in uncooled nozzle

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Fig. 7

Variation of static temperature along the wall of cooled nozzle

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Fig. 8

Variation of gas-side wall temperature for different coolant flow rates

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Fig. 9

Variation of gas-side wall temperature for cooled and uncooled cases

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Fig. 10

Variation of gas-side and coolant-side wall temperatures

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Fig. 11

Variation of gas-side wall temperature for different cooling media

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Fig. 12

Heat flux variation along the rocket nozzle wall

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Fig. 13

Variation of gas-side wall temperature for different wall materials

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Fig. 14

Variation of gas-side wall temperature for different wall thickness

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Fig. 15

Variation of heat flux for different wall thickness

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Fig. 16

Variation of gas-side wall temperature for convection and radiation

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Fig. 17

Variation of gas-side wall temperature for different viscous models

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Fig. 18

Comparison of predicted gas-side wall temperature with published data [4]

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