Computational Study of Variable Fuel-Air Ratio and Hydrogen Doping in a Rotating Detonation Engine

Research output: NRELPresentation


Rotating detonation engines (RDEs) hold great promise as a technology for powering aviation engines. The pressure gain that results from continuously traversing detonation waves enables high theoretical performance compared to deflagration-based combustion. However, the harsh operating conditions inside an RDE restrict the availability of suitable experimental diagnostics to study these systems in detail and the range of spatial and temporal scales render numerical simulations of these systems difficult. In this study, we have combined adaptive mesh refinement and a robust shock-capturing approach to study RDE systems computationally using the compressible, reactive solver PeleC. Multi-species transport along with compressible Navier-Stokes equations are solved in the model along with finite-rate chemistry. Complex geometries are represented using an embedded boundary method with second-order spatial accuracy and the system is evolved in time using a second-order Runge-Kutta method. We present studies of a methane-air RDE system that is doped with varying levels of hydrogen. Our analysis focusses on how fuel mixture and doping levels effect the detonation flame structure and the generation of multiple wave modes.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the 18th International Conference on Numerical Combustion, 8-11 May 2022, San Diego, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-2C00-82891


  • automatic mesh refinement
  • PeleC
  • rotating detonation engines


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