Temperature Stratification in a Cryogenic Fuel Tank

Shared by Matthew Daigle, updated on Jan 07, 2014



A reduced dynamical model describing temperature stratification effects driven by natural convection in a liquid hydrogen cryogenic fuel tank has been developed. It accounts for cryogenic propellant loading, storage, and unloading in the conditions of normal, increased, and micro- gravity. The model involves multiple horizontal control volumes in both liquid and ullage spaces. Temperature and velocity boundary layers at the tank walls are taken into account by using correlation relations. Heat exchange involving the tank wall is considered by means of the lumped-parameter method. By employing basic conservation laws, the model takes into consideration the major multi-phase mass and energy exchange processes involved, such as condensation-evaporation of the hydrogen, as well as flows of hydrogen liquid and vapor in the presence of pressurizing helium gas. The model involves a liquid hydrogen feed line and a tank ullage vent valve for pressure control. The temperature stratification effects are investigated, including in the presence of vent valve oscillations. A simulation of temperature stratification effects in a generic cryogenic tank has been implemented in Matlab and results are presented for various tank conditions.

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Publication Name
AIAA Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer
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