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The University of Southampton

Research project: Simulation of the supersonic combustion in rotating detonation engines

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The highly efficient rotating detonation engine (RDE) has been considered as one of the viable replacements for current propulsion and power generation systems that employ constant pressure combustion. In this project, simulations based on the generic framework for blockstructured Adaptive Mesh Refinement in Object-oriented C++ (AMROC) are conducted to study the problems in RDE, i.e., premixed and non-premixed injection, multi-waves mode and wavelet features, etc.  

The RDE, which employs pressure-gain combustion, is able to operate with limited or no mechanical compression. The detonation wave rapidly propagates in the combustor resulting in a nearly constant-volume combustion process that produces high-pressure burnt products and provides the thrust.

In order to reduce the computational cost, a 3-D annulus RDE can be unwrapped into a 2-D plane. The 2-D Navier-Stokes equations with detailed chemical kinetics are solved based on a Cartesian mesh in AMROC -Clawpack. A second-order accurate MUSCL-Hancock scheme with Minmod limiter is used for the reconstruction. A hybrid Roe-HLL Riemann solver is utilized to evaluate the inviscid fluxes. For multi-dimensional problems, the hybrid Roe-HLL solver is combined with the wave propagation method.

The premixed hydrogen/air RDE and ethylene/oxygen RDE are tested with continuous and discrete injection, respectively.

2-D unwrapped hydrogen/air RDE simulations
2-D unwrapped hydrogen/air RDE simulations
2-D unwrapped hydrogen/air RDE simulations
2-D unwrapped hydrogen/air RDE simulations

Related research groups

Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanic (AFM)

Key Publications

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