Design and evaluation of a single-inlet pulse detonator combustor
Brophy, Christopher M.
Millsaps, Knox T.
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Pulse detonation combustion offers thermodynamic advantages to the next generation of combustion systems. The thermodynamic efficiency is substantially improved over constant-pressure combustion systems by utilizing detonation-based combustion that occurs typically between 40 and 60 pulses per second. An existing four-inlet combustor was modified to a single-inlet arm design for integration with a rotary-valve concept. This paper discusses the design process of the single-inlet combustor so that it provides the same operation and reliability characteristics as its four-inlet predecessor. The design was derived from analysis through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), which compared a variety of single-inlet arm designs to the four-inlet model. Cold flow analysis was achieved with ANSYS CFX software to map the flow field through the combustor. The combustion features inside the engine, were predicted with ANSYS FLUENT software. The inlet dump angle and ignition-shroud were selected from the results in order to support the optimal environment for flame kernel growth and subsequent deflagration to detonation transitions. After completion of computer modeling and analysis, the successful design was manufactured and assembled for testing.
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