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15th Annual CFD Symposium, August 9-10, 2013, Bangalore

2-D Numerical simulation of Hydrogen combustion in DLR SCRAMJET Combustion chamber

Syam Sundar Vangara 1 , Chandraprakash Tourani 2 , Vijay Kumar Kannan 3

Abstract

Computational investigations of flow with and without combustion have been carried out in 2-D DLR SCRAMJET combustor geometry using RANS equations. The combustor has hydrogen injection parallel to the main flow from base of the wedge. The simulations have been carried out using STAR-CCM+. For turbulence closure k-Omega SST (shear-stress transport) model has been used. The Hydrogen-Air combustion modeling is performed using Eddy Break-up (EBU) model with 1-step global reaction chemistry. Numerical simulation results have been compared both qualitatively and quantitatively with the published 3-D computational results and experimental data.

Keywords

Supersonic

combustion,

DLR

SRCAMJET,

STAR-CCM+,

SST

K-Omega

model,

Hydrogen

combustion, EBU.

Nomenclature

M

=

Mach number

EBU

=

Eddy Break-up

ρ

=

Density

P

=

Pressure

T

=

Temperature

Y

=

Mass fraction

k

=

Turbulent kinetic energy

ω

=

Specific dissipation rate

CFD

=

Computational Fluid Dynamics

SST

=

Shear stress transport

Introduction

Supersonic combustion leads to very short residence time in combustor, in which fuel and air have to mix and burn completely for efficient combustion. Numerous experimental investigations were conducted to study the efficiency of supersonic combustion. Various computational studies have also been carried out with different injector & combustor configurations, and fuels to obtain efficient combustion. The complex flow phenomenon involving shock-waves along with shock-shear layer interactions and shock reflections from wall, pose a challenge for numerical codes to accurately model or capture the flow physics in such scenarios. The present work is focused towards validating the experimental investigation of hydrogen combustion in DLR SCRAMJET combustor using STAR-CCM+.

  • 1 Undergraduate Student, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras, Chennai, India

  • 2 Application Engineer, CD-adapco, 7th Floor, Navigator Bldg, I.T.P.L., Whitefield, Bangalore, India ; E-mail: chandraprakash.tourani@cd-adapco.com

  • 3 Sector Head - Aerospace, Turbo-machinery, & Wind Power, CD-adapco, Bangalore, India

Physical model

The combustor geometry of the Scramjet Combustion chamber at DLR is same as given by Oevermann [1] and is shown in Fig 1. The chamber has a one-sided divergent channel with inlet cross section of 45 × 50 mm and length of 300 mm. The tip of the wedge has coordinates of X=35 mm and Y=25 mm, where lower wall is at Y=0 mm and air inlet is at X=0 mm. Vitiated air enters the inlet at Mach 2 and hydrogen gas is injected from the base of the wedge through 15 holes, each with 1 mm diameter. Half angle of the wedge is 6 degrees.

Physical model The combustor geometry of the Scramjet Combustion chamber at DLR is same as given

Figure 1. Geometry of the DLR Scramjet combustor [1].

Computational model

The 3-D CAD model with a width of 2 mm has been constructed using CAD modeler built within STAR-CCM+. The mesh topology consisting of Polyhedral cells was created in STAR-CCM+. The 3-D meshed domain, is converted into a 2-D domain consisting of approximately 0.2 Million cells, as shown in Fig. 2. Mesh has been refined in the wake region behind the wedge, to resolve shock-shear layer interactions, as well as the mixing and diffusion effects of hydrogen effectively. Near wall region is also refined to capture the shock- boundary layer interactions. The 2-D computational model has an air inlet height of 50 mm and the fuel injection height of 1 mm at the base of the wedge.

Physical model The combustor geometry of the Scramjet Combustion chamber at DLR is same as given

Figure 2. 2-D Mesh consisting of 2,00,801 cells.

Boundary conditions

The inlet conditions for vitiated air and hydrogen injection are taken from Oevermann [1] and are given in Table 1. The stagnation temperature and pressure of vitiated air at the inlet are 612 K and 7.825 bars, respectively. The mass flow rate of the Hydrogen inlet was adjusted to maintain the equivalence ratio of 0.0125, as given in [2]. All outlet boundary flow variables are extrapolated from the interior of the domain, as the flow is supersonic. Walls are considered as adiabatic with no-slip condition.

Table 1. Conditions at Air and Hydrogen inlets

Condition

Air inlet

Hydrogen inlet

T [K]

340

250

P [1e5 Pa]

1

1

ρ [kg/m 3 ]

1.002

0.097

YO 2

0.232

0

YN 2

0.736

0

YH 2 O

0.032

0

YH 2

0

1

k [m 2 /s 2 ]

10

2400

ω [s -1 ]

65

41666.67

Numerical Approach

The k-Omega SST model has been used for modeling turbulence. The values of turbulent kinetic energy

(k) and specific dissipation rate (ω) are given in the Table 1. The turbulent Prandtl and Schmidt numbers are 1.2

and 0.7, respectively as given in [2]. Hydrogen-Air combustion modeling is performed using Standard EBU model with reversible 1-step global reaction chemistry. The Standard EBU model assumes that the reaction rate is dictated solely by the turbulent mixing time scale. The properties of Hydrogen-Air mixture have been determined using mass-averaged mixing laws for mixture of perfect gases. The properties like viscosity, specific heat capacities, and thermal conductivity for individual species are computed using Sutherland's law, NASA thermodynamic polynomials, and power law, respectively. Coupled implicit solver scheme with second order discretization is implemented in STAR-CCM+ for solving RANS equations. Initialization of the fluid domain is done using grid-sequencing (GS) expert initialization within coupled solver in STAR-CCM+. This technique initializes the fluid domain with invisid solution of the flow problem, which is closer in reality to the actual viscous solution, as compared to the normal initialization as specified in initial conditions. The usage of expert initialization helps cut down the number of iterations needed to converge the solution.

Results and Discussion

In this section, 2-D numerical simulation results for the DLR scramjet combustor have been presented for two cases: (1) Hydrogen injection without combustion or cold-flow and (2) Hydrogen injection with combustion. The obtained numerical results have been qualitatively and quantitatively compared with the 3-D computational results published in [2] and experimental data [1].

1. Hydrogen injection without combustion (cold-flow)

Fig. 3 qualitatively compares the experimentally obtained density-variation capturing schlieren image, with 2-D density contours obtained computationally for cold-flow. The density contour plot closely captures the overall complex flow structures, as seen in experiments. The generation of shock waves from the tip of the wedge and their reflection from the top and bottom wall, along with their interaction with the injected hydrogen jet, has been captured in detail. Due to slight angle in the upper combustor wall, the shock wave getting reflected off the upper wall hits the wake slightly further, as compared to the one getting reflected off the bottom wall. This causes the wake to slightly expand, thus acting like a compression ramp for the flow on the upper side of the wake, and thereby creating a shock wave which eventually merges with the upper re-compression shock, at the upper wall. Fig. 4 compares 2-D numerical simulation results (present work) for cross-stream velocity profiles at four different streamwise locations, with published 3-D computational results and experimental data. The 2-D results overall compare well with the 3-D results & experimental data. It can be noticed that, the flow in the wake region just behind the wedge, decelerates to a subsonic velocity and then further speeds up back to

supersonic velocity, which achieves a near constant value close to the end of the combustor's length. However, at

  • X = 78 mm, along the centerline, i.e. Y = 25 mm, the deceleration in the streamwise velocity is largely over-

predicted by 2-D results, thus showing the presence of a re-circulation zone, as compared to 3-D results and experimental data. Fig. 5-6 show numerical and experimental results for static pressure distribution along the bottom wall and centerline of the combustor. 2-D results provide a good overall agreement with the 3-D computational results

and experimental data. In Fig. 5, first pressure peak as shown by the experimental data is captured well by the 2-

  • D results, which on the other hand is slightly over-predicted by 3-D results. However, both 2-D and 3-D results

fail to capture the location of the second peak in pressure values along the bottom wall. In Fig. 6, the pressure jump profile is captured well by the 2-D results as compared to 3-D results. But, after X = 175 mm, the plateau as can be seen in the experimental data, is not captured well by the 2-D results, as compared to the 3-D results. The reason for the above discrepancies between 2-D results with respect to 3-D CFD and experimental ones, could be due to the influence of three dimensional effects which are neglected in the 2-D scenario. In the experiment, the hydrogen is injected through 15 holes resulting in a truly three-dimensional flow field.

Furthermore, the pressure measurements were taken near the side walls of the channel where corner boundary layer effects are present [1].

supersonic velocity, which achieves a near constant value close to the end of the combustor's length.
supersonic velocity, which achieves a near constant value close to the end of the combustor's length.

Figure 3. Comparison of shadow picture (experimental) with Density contour for cold flo

 

Streamwise velocity profile at X=78 mm

 

Streamwise velocity profile at X=125 mm

 
Experimental [1] 2D results (Present) Experimental [1] 2D results (Present)

Experimental [1]

 

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Experimental [1] 2D results (Present) Experimental [1] 2D results (Present)

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Streamwise velocity profile at X=233 mm

 
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Figure 4. Cross-stream velocity profiles at different streamwise locations

Static pressure distribution along the bottom wall

2.50E+05 2.00E+05 1.50E+05 1.00E+05 5.00E+04 0.00E+00 Static Pressuure Pa Experimental [1] 2D results (Present) 3D results
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0

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Figure 5. Static pressure distribution along the bottom wall

Static pressure variation along the line Y=25 mm

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Figure 6. Static pressure variation along combustor centerline - Y=25 mm

2. Hydrogen injection with combustion

The results of the 2-D computational simulations of the cold flow with combustion are presented in this section. The experimental schlieren image of the flow field and contours of density are compared in Fig. 7. The overall flow physics, as depicted through the schlieren image, has been capture well by 2-D numerical simulation. The same can be seen in the density contours of Fig. 7. The widening of the reaction zone followed by a constriction has been captured well by the 2-D numerical simulation. The axial location of the narrow combustion zone as seen in the 2-D density contours, closely matches with the one shown by the experimental shadow graph image. The presence of this narrow combustion zone, acts like a kick to the subsonic flow within the wake region, thus accelerating it back to supersonic speeds. The profiles of the streamwise velocity components at three different axial locations along the length of combustion chamber have been compared with 3-D computational and experimental results in Fig. 8. The 2-D results are able to reasonably capture the cross-stream axial velocity flow profiles as shown by the experimental data. Both, 2-D and 3-D results fail to predict the actual location as given by the experimental data in particular along the combustor centerline, i.e. Y = 25 mm. For e.g. at X = 78 mm, both 2-D and 3-D results grossly over- predict the velocity deceleration, leading to a negative velocity or a re-circulation zone due to combustion along the centerline just behind the wedge base. Similarly, at X = 125 mm, both 2-D and 3-D over-predicts the acceleration in axial velocity along the centerline in the wake region, which is not shown by the experimental data. It can be noticed from the experimental data that, from X = 78 mm till X = 125 mm, the axial velocity in the wake region remains more or less same, i.e. around 200 m/s. This tacitly communicates the extent of the combustion zone within the wake region. Fig. 9 shows streamwise axial velocity profile along the combustor's centerline within the wake region. The same is compared to 3-D numerical results and experimental data. As can be noticed, 2-D result reasonably captures the velocity trend, as shown by the experimental data. But, both 2-D and 3-D numerical results demonstrate the presence of a re-circulation zone i.e. negative axial velocity in the wake region behind wedge base. The reason for this anomaly could be attributed to the assumption of 1-step global reaction chemistry for Hydrogen-Air combustion, which could be causing a rapid heat release versus gradual heat release pattern seen during experiments. Thus the extent of combustion zone is longer in case of experiments, than what is noticed in 2-D CFD results. The same reason is the cause of an abrupt acceleration of flow within the wake region from X = 78 mm to X = 207 mm, as seen in Fig. 8. Fig. 10 shows the cross-stream temperature profiles at different streamwise locations. Here too, the 2-D CFD results are able to capture the trends as shown by the experimental data. But, here also, the rapid heat release due to the assumption of 1-step global reaction chemistry for Hydrogen-Air combustion, causes 2-D results to largely over-predict the experimental temperature values near the base of the wedge, i.e. X = 78 mm.

However, as we move in the downstream direction, the 2-D results capture the cross-stream temperature profile much accurately. The rapid heat release caused due to 1-step reaction mechanism, calls for the implementation of a multi-step reaction mechanism for Hydrogen-Air combustion, so as to accurately model the heat release pattern as encountered in reality.

However, as we move in the downstream direction, the 2-D results capture the cross-stream temperature profile
However, as we move in the downstream direction, the 2-D results capture the cross-stream temperature profile

Figure 7. Comparison of shadow picture with Density contour for combustion

 

Streamwise velocity profile at X=78 mm

   

Streamwise velocity profile at X=125 mm

 
Experimental [1] 2D results (Present) Experimental [1] 2D Results (Present)

Experimental [1]

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Experimental [1] 2D results (Present) Experimental [1] 2D Results (Present)

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Figure 8. Cross-stream velocity profiles at different streamwise locations

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Figure 9. Streamwise velocity plot along the line Y=25 mm

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Figure 10. Cross-stream temperature profiles at different streamwise locations

Summary and Conclusions

2-D numerical simulations of Hydrogen-Air combustion within the DLR combustor, have been performed using STAR-CCM+ for two cases, i.e. hydrogen injection without combustion, and further with combustion. For turbulence closure, the k-Omega SST (shear-stress transport) model has been used. The Hydrogen-Air combustion modeling is performed using Eddy Break-up (EBU) model with 1-step global reaction chemistry. Numerical simulation results have been compared both qualitatively and quantitatively with the published 3-D computational results and experimental data. The 2-D CFD results from the present work show an overall agreement with the published 3-D CFD results and experimental data. However, particularly near the base of the wedge, i.e. X = 78 mm location, there is considerable disagreement between 2-D CFD results and experimental values. One of the reasons could be the three dimensional effects, like three dimensional mixing of fuel and three dimensional shock interactions with boundary layer and shear layer, are not captured by the two dimensional simulation. Also, the presence of a re-circulation zone in the wake region behind the wedge base, does not agree well with the experimental data. This could have been caused by the rapid heat release due to the assumption of 1-step reaction chemistry for Hydrogen-Air. Hence, to realistically model the heat release pattern for Hydrogen-Air combustion, a multi-step reaction mechanism should be used.

Future scope

To further improve results obtained above from 2-D CFD simulation, the chemistry could be modeled using a multi-step reaction mechanism for Hydrogen-Air. A 7-step mechanism which is developed by Shang et al [3], is shown to give better results for two-dimensional, steady-state, shock-induced combustion problem according to Cluster [4]. Also, a Hybrid EBU combustion model could be used for turbulence-chemistry interaction, which computes the reaction rate based on both mixing and chemical kinetic time-sales. All the above recommendations are already being implemented and evaluated in an on-going project work at CD- adapco, India.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank CD-adapco for the supporting throughout the project.

References

[1] Michael Oevermann, “Numerical Investigation of Turbulent Hydrogen Combustion in a Scramjet using Flamelet Modeling,” Aerospace Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No. 7, 2000,pp. 463-480. [2] Dinde, P., Rajasekaran, A., and Babu, V., “3D Numerical Simulation of the Supersonic Combustion of Hydrogen,” The Aeronautical journal, 2006. [3] Shang, H.M., Chen, Y.S., Liaw, P., “Investigation of Chemical Kinetics Integration Algorithms for Reacting flows,” AIAA, 95-0806, Jan., 1995. [4] Cluster, J.K., Mikolaitis, D.W. and Shyy, W., “Effect of Reaction Mechanism in Shock-Induced Combustion Simulations,AIAA Paper 98-0274, Jan., 1998. [5] Menter, F. R., "Two-Equation Eddy-Viscosity Turbulence Models for Engineering Applications," AIAA Journal, Vol. 32, No. 8, August 1994, pp. 1598-1605.