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Numerical Analysis of a Single Minichannel Within a High-Temperature Hydrogen Heat Exchanger for Beamed Energy Propulsion Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
Daniel W. Gould, Rebecca N. Webb

University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO

Brad W. Hoff

AFRL/RDHPS, Kirtland AFB, NM

Marcus P. Young

AFRL/RQRS, Edwards AFB, CA

Paper No. HT2013-17217, pp. V004T14A009; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/HT2013-17217
From:
  • ASME 2013 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the ASME 2013 7th International Conference on Energy Sustainability and the ASME 2013 11th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 4: Heat and Mass Transfer Under Extreme Conditions; Environmental Heat Transfer; Computational Heat Transfer; Visualization of Heat Transfer; Heat Transfer Education and Future Directions in Heat Transfer; Nuclear Energy
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, July 14–19, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5550-8
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME

abstract

The requirement that the propellants used in launch vehicle systems must also provide the thermal energy to be converted to kinetic energy in the rocket nozzle has plagued rocket designers since the dawn of the space age. Beamed propulsion systems, however, avoid this constraint by placing the energy source on the ground and transmitting the energy to the spacecraft via microwaves. This computational work evaluates three different heat exchanger channel designs for use in a beam propulsion spacecraft. The working fluid was hydrogen and the input energy was 1.3 kW. The increase in axial temperature along the 0.1 m long channel was as high as 2000 K. In addition, it was found that despite the very small diameter of the minichannels, 1 mm, each design produced extreme temperature gradients across the channel cross section. These temperature gradients affected the velocity profile; the maximum velocity was not located at the channel center.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME

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