Effect of Mixture Concentration Inhomogeneity on Detonation Properties in Pressure Gain Combustion


Detonation channel side view.
Detonation channel side view.
Pennsylvania State University
Website:  Pennsylvania State University
Award Number:  FE0025525
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 09/30/2018
Total Award Value:  $450,000
DOE Share:  $360,000
Performer Share:  $90,000
Technology Area:  Advanced Turbines
Key Technology:  Pressure Gain Combustion
Location:  University Park, Pennsylvania

Project Description

The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) will investigate the effect of mixture concentration inhomogeneity on detonation propagation. The goal is to gain fundamental understanding of the relationship between mixture inhomogeneity and detonation properties to improve the design of pressure gain combustion systems with a focus on flow configurations found in rotary detonation engines. In most rotary detonation engine designs, fuel and oxidizer are separately injected into the main combustion chamber, leading to spatial variations in fuel and oxidizer concentration (mixture inhomogeneity) prior to the onset of detonation. Rotary detonation engines are particularly prone to concentration variations due to short mixing times and variations in fuel and oxidizer flow rates due to backpressure from the continuously traveling detonation wave. The interaction between the detonation wave and these variations in concentration can lead to reductions in the detonation wave velocity, local increases in pressure fluctuations, and changes in the failure limits of successfully propagating waves.

Project Benefits

The impact of this research will be to provide experimental data necessary in order to improve modeling tools to predict the performance of pressure gain combustors, attain further basic understanding of detonation-inhomogeneity interaction, and aid in improving combustor performance. Beyond pressure gain combustor applications, this research will improve understanding of general safety concerns in situations where detonation propagation through inhomogeneous mixtures is possible (e.g., rupture of a gas line).

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Robin Ames: robin.ames@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Richard Dennis: richard.dennis@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Domenic A. Santavicca: das8@psu.edu

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