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Journal Article

Mapping of Fuel Anti-Knock Requirements for a Small Remotely Piloted Aircraft Engine

Small remotely piloted aircraft (10-25 kg) powered by internal combustion engines typically operate on motor gasoline, which has an anti-knock index (AKI) of >80. To comply with the single-battlefield-fuel initiative in DoD Directive 4140.25, interest has been increasing in converting the 1-10 kW power plants in the aforementioned size class to run on lower AKI fuels such as diesel and JP-8, which have AKIs of ~20. It has been speculated that the higher losses (short-circuiting, incomplete combustion, heat transfer) that cause these engines to have lower efficiencies than their conventional-scale counterparts may also relax the fuel-AKI requirements of the engines. To investigate that idea, the fuel-AKI requirement of a 3W-55i engine was mapped and compared to that of the engine on the manufacturer-recommended 98 octane number (ON) fuel.
Journal Article

A First Principles Based Approach for Dynamic Modeling of Turbomachinery

As the cost and complexity of modern aircraft systems increases, emphasis has been placed on model-based design as a means for reducing development cost and optimizing performance. To facilitate this, an appropriate modeling environment is required that allows developers to rapidly explore a wider design space than can cost effectively be considered through hardware construction and testing. This wide design space can then yield solutions that are far more energy efficient than previous generation designs. In addition, non-intuitive cross-coupled subsystem behavior can also be explored to ensure integrated system stability prior to hardware fabrication and testing. In recent years, optimization of control strategies between coupled subsystems has necessitated the understanding of the integrated system dynamics.
Technical Paper

Measuring Scaling Effects in Small Two-Stroke Internal Combustion Engines

As IC engines decrease in displacement, their cylinder surface area to swept volume ratio increases. Examining power output of IC engines with respect to cylinder surface area to swept volume ratio shows that there is a change in power scaling trends at approximately 1.5 cm−1. At this size, it is suggested that heat transfer from the cylinder becomes the dominant thermal loss mechanism and performance and efficiency characteristics suffer. Furthermore, small IC engines (>1 cm−1) have limited technical performance data compared to IC engines in larger size classes. Therefore, it is critical to establish accurate performance figures for a family of geometrically similar engines in the size class of approximately 1.5 cm−1 in order to better understand the thermal losses that contribute to lower efficiencies in small IC engines. The engines considered in this scaling study were manufactured by 3W Modellmotoren, GmbH.
Technical Paper

Effect of Unsteady Flow on Intercooler Performance

Two compact intercoolers are designed for the Rotax 914 aircraft engine to increase engine power and avoid engine knock. A study is performed to investigate the effects of unsteady airflow on intercooler performance. Both intercoolers use air-to-liquid cross flow heat exchangers with staggered fins. The intercoolers are first tested by connecting the four air outlets of the intercooler to a common restricted exit creating a constant back pressure which allows for steady airflow. The intercoolers are then tested by connecting the four air outlets to a 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine head and varying the engine speed from 6000 to 1200 RPM corresponding to decreasing flow steadiness. The test is performed under average flight conditions with air entering the intercooler at 180°F and about 5 psig. Results from the experiment indicate that airflow unsteadiness has a significant effect on the intercooler's performance.
Journal Article

Heat Transfer Performance of a Dual Latent Heat Sink for Pulsed Heat Loads

This paper presents the concept of a dual latent heat sink for thermal management of pulse heat generating electronic systems. The focus of this work is to verify the effectiveness of the concept during charging through experimentation. Accordingly, custom components were built and a prototype version of the heat sink was fabricated. Experiments were performed to investigate the implementation feasibility and heat transfer performance. It is shown that this heat sink is practicable and helps in arresting the system temperature rise during charging (period of pulse heat load).
Technical Paper

Effect of Thermal Conductivity and Latent Heat of Vaporization of Liquid on Heat Transfer in Spray Cooling

The two-phase flow modeling is done using the level set method to identify the interface of vapor and liquid. The modifications to the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations to consider surface tension, viscosity, gravity and phase change are discussed in detail. The governing equations are solved using finite difference method. In the present work, investigations on the effect of thermal conductivity and latent heat of vaporization of liquid on heat transfer in a 44 µm thick liquid film containing vapor bubble with droplet impact is investigated. The importance of thermal conductivity and latent heat of vaporization of liquid on heat transfer is identified. The variation of heat flux with thermal conductivity and latent heat is plotted. The computed liquid and vapor interface, velocity vector and temperature distributions at different time instants are also visualized for better understanding of the heat removal.
Technical Paper

Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Based Batteries and Thermal Management for Airborne High Energy Electric Lasers

Advances in the past decade of the energy and power densities of lithium-ion based batteries for hybrid electric vehicles and various consumer applications have been substantial. Rechargeable high rate lithium-ion batteries are now exceeding 6 kW/kg for short discharge times (<15 seconds). Rechargeable lithium-ion polymer batteries, for applications such as remote-control aircraft, are achieving simultaneously high energy density and high power density (>160 Whr/kg at >1.0 kW/kg). Some preliminary test data on a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery is presented. The use of high rate rechargeable lithium-ion batteries as a function of onboard power, electric laser power level, laser duty cycle, and total mission time is presented. A number of thermal management system configurations were examined to determine system level weight impacts. Lightweight configurations would need a regenerative thermal energy storage subsystem.
Technical Paper

External Condenser Design for Cooling of Rotating Heat Pipe in MEA Application

Rotating Heat Pipe (RHP) technolog y is being developed for high speed (>20 krpm) regimes of electric motor/generator cooling. The motivation for this research is the potential application of the high speed RHPs for the thermal management of advanced rotating electrical machines. The passive nature and relatively simple features of this device are attractive for the removal of waste heat from the rotors of electric machines. Interesting air-cooling experimental results of two high speed RHPs designed, fabricated and tested at AFRL are presented here. Emphasis is made on external heat removal concepts useful for cooling the RHP condenser in order to be successful in promoting this technology to real world problems.