The Combustion Laboratory
Investigator: Martin B. Linck
propulsion challenges associated with Navy vessels will increasingly deal with
underwater propulsion. Underwater combustor systems, associated with torpedoes,
missiles, small autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) as well as other types
of submersible systems are an area of particular interest. Swirl-stabilized
combustion systems are versatile, efficient and reliable. A swirl-stabilized
combustor has been investigated under conditions simulating sumbersion.
|The experimental section in operation, reacting flow condition. A swirl-stabilized methanol spray flame is visible in the combustor; and the exhaust jet is seen interacting with water in the mixing chamber. The water is not clearly visible due to the shutter speed used to obtain the image. The agitation of the water in the chamber is so violent that it is visible only as a white blur. Baffles and special trap stacks are installed in the mixing chamber to allow optical access. The interaction of the exhaust jet from the combustor with the incompressible water in the mixing chamber can be observed.|
|A schematic diagram of the test section for simulation of underwater propulsion. The rig consists of two chambers linked by a nozzle block. The upstream chamber functions as a combustor while the downstream structure functions as a mixing chamber.|
|Schematic diagram of Injector and Fuel Nozzle.|
The swirl number, S
of a particular assembly can be obtained if the mean axial, radial,
and tangential velocities are known as a function of radial location
in the combustor. Here,
v is the axial mean velocity, w is
the tangential mean velocity, and r is
The swirl number of a straight-vane swirl assembly can be
approximated as shown in the equation above. Here,
the hub diameter of the swirler, and do is
the outer diameter of the swirler. The swirl number is thus found to
depend primarily on
q, the swirl vane angle.
|Inner swirler with twisted vanes.
vanes have a twisted configuration, and the divergence of the vane
surface from the axial direction increases with radius. This
particular swirler features a 45° angle at the outer vane edge.
|Injector with inner and outer swirlers installed. The outer swirl assembly is a straight-vane-type, featuring a vane angle of 50°.|
Effect of Enclosure and Pressurization on Flame Structure
|Unenclosed, enclosed, and pressurized flame. It was found that the flame structure depends heavily on the features of the fuel spray and the recirculation region. The flame is generally blue, with regions of orange luminosity near the widest point of the flame. The trailing edge of the flame is orange in color.||Enclosed Flame images, showing rapid and slow exposures. The flame photograph of the enclosed, unpressurized flame shown at the left was obtained using a 0.125 s exposure duration. The flame photograph at the right shows the same flame, photographed using a 0.5 s exposure duration. The broad luminous region at right is due to low-frequency instability due to vortex precession.|
Effect of Pressure on Swirling Air Flowfield
|Unenclosed and Enclosed PIV Setups|
Luminous Spray Flame
Spray Flame Flowfield Distribution
Second PIV Exposure
First PIV Exposure
|PIV Diagnostic Development for Luminous Spray Flame|
Comparison of Contours of Axial velocity, V.
blue regions in flowfields, near the centerline (X = 0) represent
the recirculation regions of the flow in each case. The maximum
axial velocities measured in the unenclosed and enclosed,
atmospheric-pressure case are near 10 m/s. In the pressurized case
the velocities are much lower.
velocities seen near
the origin of each
flowfield are due to the
effect of the atomization
air stream. The
emanating from the fuel
nozzle is found to have a
significant effect on the
shape and structure of the
Comparison of isothermal axial velocity contours and flame structure in
the unenclosed flame. The blue regions in the flowfield indicate regions of recirculation. The red regions indicate large positive axial velocities.
seen to correspond closely to the features of the non-reacting air flowfield.
The flame is stabilized on the boundary of the recirculation region. The
shape of the recirculation region is similar in the reacting and nonreacting
Exhaust Jet Dynamic Behavior in a Two-Phase System
|Schematics of Flush-Mounted and conical projecting nozzles. The nozzle on the left is flush-mounted with the baseplate of the mixing chamber, and does not project into the mixing chamber. The nozzle on the right features a tapered, conical extension that allowed it to project 40.6 mm into the mixing tank. The conical projecting nozzle was developed in order to examine the effect of nozzle geometry on entrainment and dynamic behavior of the exhaust jet.|
Bubble emerging from flush-mounted nozzle. Combustor Pressure: 1 psig.
Bubble emerging from conical nozzle. Combustor Pressure: 1 psig.
|Emergence of a bubble
from the conical nozzle.
The maximum diameter of a bubble is approximately 5*DE Combustor Pressure: 1 psig.
observed at a chamber pressure of 15 psig. Open channel mode
dominated, but collapsed often. During collapse, a bubble-formation
|The equation for the Strouhal number, St, where f is the frequency of a periodic instability, d is the diameter of the jet, and Umean is the mean velocity of the jet at the inlet.|
The Strouhal number associated with bubble formation and
collapse at 1 psig is approximately 0.002
(vs. 0.2 for single phase gas/gas case)
The Strouhal number associated with large-scale events (bubble-fromation) in the jet at 15 psig is also approximately 0.002
The maximum diameter associated with large-scale structures at both pressures is 5 * DE
The process of formation and collapse of large-scale structures is apparently buoyancy-driven. Swirl in the combusto air did
not affect the exhaust jet
In the case of the high-pressure jet (15 psig), shockwave interaction with the liquid phase appears to affect the jet structure
and dynamic behavior
View the entire paper on Underwater Propulsion: Underwater_Propulsion.pdf
Last Edited: May 13, 2006