Role Of Hydrogen Injection Temperature On The Combustion Instability Of Cryogenic Rocket Engine

by K S Biju Kumar

Institution: Indian Institute of Science
Year: 2012
Keywords: Liquid Propellant Rocket; Cryogenic Rocket Engines; Combustion Instability; Cryogenic Engines - Combustion Instability; Hydrogen Injection Temperature Combustion Instability; Cryogenic Engines - Combustion Modeling; Combustion Instability; Heat Engineering
Record ID: 1186776
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2005/2297


Physical mechanism for high frequency instability in cryogenic engines at low hydrogen injection temperature has been a subject of debate for long time. Experimental and early developmental studies revealed no instabilities and it was only much later when liquid hydrogen at lower initial temperature (~50 to 100 K) was injected into the combustion chamber that instabilities were detected. From the compilations of the experimental data related to the instability of cryogenic engines by Hulka and Hutt, it was found that the instability was strongly connected to the temperature of hydrogen. Experiments conducted with hydrogen temperature ramping from a higher value to lower values indicated that the temperatures in excess of 90 K favor stability under most practical operating conditions. Even though this has been known for over forty years, there has been no clear and simple explanation for this. Many physical mechanisms have been hypothesized to explain how temperature ramping causes instability, but all appear to have limited range of applicability. Current understanding of cryogenic engine combustion instability has been achieved through a combination of experimental investigation and approximate analytical models as well as CFD tools. Various researchers have tried to link the low hydrogen injection temperature combustion instability phenomena with various potential mechanisms for combustion instability. They involve coupling of combustion acoustics with atomization, vaporization, mixing, chemical kinetics or any combination of these processes. Various studies related to the effect of recess, injector hydrodynamics, acoustic damping of gas liquid scheme injectors and effect of drop size distribution on the stability characteristics of cryogenic engines were compiled in the thesis. Several researchers examined fuel droplet vaporization as the rate controlling mechanism. Recently a new method for the evaluation of stability characteristics of the engine using model chamber were proposed by Russians and this is based on mixing as the rate controlling mechanism. Pros and cons of this method were discussed. Some people examined the combustion instability of rocket engines based on chemistry dynamics. A considerable amount of analytical and numerical studies were carried out by various researchers for finding out the cause of combustion instability. Because of the limitations of their analysis, they could not successfully explain the cause of combustion instability at low hydrogen injection temperature. A compilation of previous numerical studies were carried out. A number of researchers have applied CFD in the study of combustion instabilities in liquid propellant rocket engines. In the present thesis, a theoretical model has been developed based on the vaporization of droplets to predict the stability characteristics of the engine. The proposed concept focuses on three dimensional simulation of combustion instability for giving some meaningful explanations for the experimental work presented in the literature. In the…