Development and Application of Theoretical Models for Rotating Detonation Engine Flowfields
MetadataShow full item record
As turbine and rocket engine technology matures, performance increases between successive generations of engine development are becoming smaller. One means of accomplishing significant gains in thermodynamic performance and power density is to use detonation-based heat release instead of deflagration. This work is focused on developing and applying theoretical models to aid in the design and understanding of Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs). In an RDE, a detonation wave travels circumferentially along the bottom of an annular chamber where continuous injection of fresh reactants sustains the detonation wave. RDEs are currently being designed, tested, and studied as a viable option for developing a new generation of turbine and rocket engines that make use of detonation heat release. One of the main challenges in the development of RDEs is to understand the complex flowfield inside the annular chamber. While simplified models are desirable for obtaining timely performance estimates for design analysis, one-dimensional models may not be adequate as they do not provide flow structure information. In this work, a two-dimensional physics-based model is developed, which is capable of modeling the curved oblique shock wave, exit swirl, counter-flow, detonation inclination, and varying pressure along the inflow boundary. This is accomplished by using a combination of shock-expansion theory, Chapman-Jouguet detonation theory, the Method of Characteristics (MOC), and other compressible flow equations to create a shock-fitted numerical algorithm and generate an RDE flowfield. This novel approach provides a numerically efficient model that can provide performance estimates as well as details of the large-scale flow structures in seconds on a personal computer. Results from this model are validated against high-fidelity numerical simulations that may require a high-performance computing framework to provide similar performance estimates. This work provides a designer a new tool to conduct large-scale parametric studies to optimize a design space before conducting computationally-intensive, high-fidelity simulations that may be used to examine additional effects. The work presented in this thesis not only bridges the gap between simple one-dimensional models and high-fidelity full numerical simulations, but it also provides an effective tool for understanding and exploring RDE flow processes.