The pressure gain across a rotating detonation combustor offers an efficiency rise and potential architecture simplification of compact gas turbine engines. However, the combustor walls of the rotating detonation combustor are periodically swept by both detonation and oblique shock waves at several kilohertz, disrupting the boundary layer, resulting in a rather complex convective heat transfer between the fluid and the solid walls. A computationally fast procedure is presented to calculate this extraordinary convective heat flux along the detonation combustor. First, a numerical model combining a two-dimensional method of characteristics approach with a monodimensional reaction model is used to compute the combustor flow field. Then, an integral boundary layer routine is used to predict the main boundary layer parameters. Finally, an empirical correlation is adopted to predict the convective heat-transfer coefficient to obtain the bulk and local heat flux. The procedure has been applied to a combustor operating with premixed hydrogen-air fuel. The results of this approach compare well with high-fidelity unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes three-dimensional simulations, which included wall refinement in an unrolled combustor. The model demonstrates that total pressure has an important influence on heat flux within the combustor and is less dependent on the inlet total temperature. For an inlet total pressure of 0.5 MPa and an inlet total temperature of 300 K, a peak time-averaged heat flux of 6 MW/m2 was identified at the location of the triple point, followed by a decrease downstream of the oblique shock, to about 4 MW/m2. Maximum discrepancy between the reduced-order model and the high-fidelity solver was 16%, but the present reduced-order model required a computational time of only 200 s, that is, about 7000 times faster than the high-fidelity three-dimensional unsteady solver. Therefore, the present tool can be used to optimize the combustor cooling system.


This is the publisher PDF of Braun, J.; Sousa, J.; Paniagua, G. Numerical Assessment of the Convective Heat Transfer in Rotating Detonation Combustors Using a Reduced-Order Model. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 893. Published CC-BY by MDPI, the version of record is available at DOI: 10.3390/app8060893


Rotating detonation combustor; heat flux; reduced model; pressure-gain combustion

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