Research Papers: Heat Exchangers

Thermoacoustic Oscillations in Multipath Heated Fuel Circuits

[+] Author and Article Information
Steven Hunt

The Aerospace Corporation,
El Segundo, CA 90425

Stephen Heister

Raisbeck Distinguished Professor
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received June 14, 2016; final manuscript received April 20, 2017; published online May 16, 2017. Editor: Portonovo S. Ayyaswamy.

J. Heat Transfer 139(9), 091801 (May 16, 2017) (6 pages) Paper No: HT-16-1382; doi: 10.1115/1.4036597 History: Received June 14, 2016; Revised April 20, 2017

Pressure oscillations in supercritical jet-A fuel flowing through four parallel heated tubes connected to common manifolds have been observed in this study. Tests were performed with fuel inlet temperatures ranging from 70 °F to 700 °F, and fuel pressures ranging from 360 to 700 psi. Total fuel flow rate ranged from 5 to 55 lb/h. Tubes were heated by blowing 800–950 °F nitrogen over them. Acoustic-mode oscillations, typically ranging from 100 to 500 Hz, occurred only when a large temperature gradient was created inside the heated fuel tubes. Pressure oscillation amplitudes ranged from 0.1 to 1.0 psi. Oscillations at the inlet and outlet manifolds that were caused by a mode with the characteristic length of a single fuel tube were separated by a phase lag that was a function of the manifold cross-passage diameter. A lower frequency mode was also observed, which had a characteristic length based on the summed lengths of a single fuel tube and a single manifold passage. An acoustic simulation using the comsol acoustics module was performed to predict frequencies based on geometry and flow conditions of the experiment.

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Fig. 1

Density versus reduced temperature of jet-A fuel at 400psi

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Fig. 2

Specific heat versus reduced temperature of jet-A fuel at 400 psi

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Fig. 3

Fuel flow path schematic

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Fig. 4

Illustration of test article

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Fig. 5

Cut-away view of nitrogen flow box

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Fig. 6

Acoustic-mode oscillation pressure trace—Tinlet = 592 °F, p = 551 psi, m˙=38.6 lb/h, large manifold passage

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Fig. 7

Power spectral density plot—Tinlet = 592 °F, p = 551 psi, m˙=38.6 lb/h, large manifold passage

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Fig. 8

Acoustic-mode oscillation pressure trace—Tinlet = 306 °F, p = 485 psi, m˙=19.9 lb/h, small manifold passage

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Fig. 9

Histogram showing which acoustic modes were most often excited for different heating conditions

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Fig. 10

Tetrahedral mesh of fuel flow path used for acoustic simulation consisting of 40,342 elements

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Fig. 11

Predicted primary frequency versus inlet temperature for cases in which tube 1 is heated: p = 400 psi and Toutlet = 758 °F




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