For most hybrid rocket systems, oxidizer to fuel ratio (O/F) changes over time due to 1) natural growth of the fuel port diameter and 2) oxidizer flow rate variations, if throttling is employed. This phenomenon, which is referred to as “O/F shift”, leads to a reduction in motor performance. Note that liquid or solid rocket motors are not subject to temporal O/F variations, which is wrongfully considered as one of the most critical disadvantages of hybrid rockets. In this paper, the effect of “O/F shift” is quantified for hybrid rocket motors. Analytical formulas for the temporal O/F variation and the overall c* efficiency drop associated with the variation has been derived for single circular port motors. It has been shown that for a typical motor, c* efficiency drop due to O/F variation is well below 0.2%, a value which is too small to be measured in an actual motor test. It is also shown that for a wagon wheel type multiport configuration (with triangular ports), efficiency drop is significantly worse than the single circular port case. Even for the multiport systems, the shift does not have a controlling effect on the overall efficiency of the motor. A number of strategies have been outlined to control the adverse effects of O/F variation in a hybrid rocket. For a single circular port design with limited throttling, no mitigation is required. For systems with deep throttling requirements, aft oxidizer injection seems like a viable strategy to retain a high level of overall efficiency.

“O/F shift” in hybrid rockets

TOSON, ELENA;
2014

Abstract

For most hybrid rocket systems, oxidizer to fuel ratio (O/F) changes over time due to 1) natural growth of the fuel port diameter and 2) oxidizer flow rate variations, if throttling is employed. This phenomenon, which is referred to as “O/F shift”, leads to a reduction in motor performance. Note that liquid or solid rocket motors are not subject to temporal O/F variations, which is wrongfully considered as one of the most critical disadvantages of hybrid rockets. In this paper, the effect of “O/F shift” is quantified for hybrid rocket motors. Analytical formulas for the temporal O/F variation and the overall c* efficiency drop associated with the variation has been derived for single circular port motors. It has been shown that for a typical motor, c* efficiency drop due to O/F variation is well below 0.2%, a value which is too small to be measured in an actual motor test. It is also shown that for a wagon wheel type multiport configuration (with triangular ports), efficiency drop is significantly worse than the single circular port case. Even for the multiport systems, the shift does not have a controlling effect on the overall efficiency of the motor. A number of strategies have been outlined to control the adverse effects of O/F variation in a hybrid rocket. For a single circular port design with limited throttling, no mitigation is required. For systems with deep throttling requirements, aft oxidizer injection seems like a viable strategy to retain a high level of overall efficiency.
50th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference 2014
9781634394581
Energy Engineering and Power Technology; Aerospace Engineering; Control and Systems Engineering; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Mechanical Engineering
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1026557
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