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Numerical Simulation on Interface Evolution and Pressurization Behaviors in Cryogenic Propellant Tank on Orbit

  • Bin Wang
  • Xujin Qin
  • Wenbin Jiang
  • Peng Li
  • Peijie Sun
  • Yonghua HuangEmail author
Original Article
  • 13 Downloads
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Multiphase Fluid Dynamics in Microgravity

Abstract

The interface distribution and self-pressurization phenomenon are the most important problems in the storage of cryogenic liquid on orbit, which are difficult to be predicted and assessed exactly due to the complex non-equilibrium thermal behavior. In this paper, one 3-D CFD model based on volume of fluid (VOF) method is established to investigate the interface evolution and self-pressurization process in the liquid oxygen (LOX) tank in microgravity environment with various heat loads and gravitational accelerations. The validity of the model is verified by both the present ground experiments and the drop tower experiments from literature. The impact of microgravity on the gas-liquid interface distribution in the cryogenic tank is analyzed. Different from the ground condition, the distribution behavior of the gas-liquid two-phase fluid in microgravity is that the liquid is covering the tank wall, and the ullage is staying at the top of the tank surrounded by the liquid. Then the pressurization rate of the tank with different gravitational accelerations is obtained. The tank pressure rise rate increases with the reducing of the gravity. The results are beneficial to the optimal design of the cryogenic propellant tank.

Keywords

Cryogenic propellant Interface evolution Self-pressurization Microgravity 

Nomenclature

Ai

interfacial area density vector

cp

specific heat (J/(kg·K))

E

fluid energy of unit mass

Fvol

body force

g

gravity (m/s2)

hfg

latent heat (J·kg−1)

hv

surface curvature of vapor

hl

the surface curvature of liquid

keff

thermal conductivity coefficient (W/(m·K))

L

liquid level

LH2

liquid hydrogen

LOX

liquid oxygen

M

molar mass (g/mol)

\( {\dot{\boldsymbol{m}}}_i \)

mass flux vector (kg/s)

Pi

interfacial pressure (kPa)

Pv

vapor pressure (kPa)

Psat

saturation pressure (kPa)

R

universal gas constant = 8.314 kJ/(mol·K)

Sh

energy flux rate

Ti

interfacial temperature (K)

Tv

vapor temperature (K)

Tsat

saturation temperature (K)

v

velocity vector of fluid (m/s)

\( \dot{V} \)

volumetric flow rate (m3/s)

VOF

volume of fluid

σ

evaporation efficiency

α

volume fraction

σlv

interfacial surface tension (N/m)

ρ

fluid density (kg/m3)

μeff

viscosity of fluid (Pa·s)

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51676118).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xujin Qin
    • 2
  • Wenbin Jiang
    • 2
  • Peng Li
    • 1
  • Peijie Sun
    • 1
  • Yonghua Huang
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Aerospace System Engineering ShanghaiShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Institute of Refrigeration and CryogenicsShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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