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Reference Number EP/L021676/1
Title Shock/turbulence interactions in dense gases
Status Completed
Energy Categories FOSSIL FUELS: OIL, GAS and COAL(Oil and Gas, Oil and gas combustion) 75%;
OTHER POWER and STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES(Electric power conversion) 25%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr E Touber
No email address given
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Imperial College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 30 June 2014
End Date 29 June 2015
Duration 12 months
Total Grant Value £100,221
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region London
Programme NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr E Touber , Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , CD adapco Group (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract To reduce the UK's greenhouse-gas emissions anywhere near the legally-binding 2050 targets, a major attack on both energy wastes and unsustainable forms of electricity production is essential. Owing to their appealing thermo-physical properties (e.g. large heat capacity relatively to the molecular weight, low boiling point, elevated density), molecularly-complex and dense gases (e.g. hydrocarbons, perfluorocarbons, siloxanes) are at the heart of realistic solutions for thermal power stations to operate efficiently on low-temperature heat sources (e.g. solar, biomass, geothermal), where they are used as substitute for water steam (e.g. organic Rankine cycle). Flow expanders in such power stations partially operate in the vicinity of the thermodynamic critical point, where the speed of sound is substantially reduced, turning the expander flow into a highly supersonic gas flow, inevitably leading to the formation of shock waves.Shock waves have the detrimental property of degrading the expander efficiency by dissipating kinetic energy into heat, and by promoting viscous losses through boundary-layer separation and thickening. Quite remarkably, and contrary to ideal gases, shock waves in molecularly-complex and dense gases can be made almost isothermal, therefore relieving part of the efficiency losses imparted by the shock wave. This remarkable property is a direct consequence of the exceptionally large number of active degrees of freedom of the gas molecule. While the prospect of efficient supersonic expanders is appealing, little is known on the implication near-isentropic shocks have on the amplification of turbulence fluctuations (which are always present in turbines). In particular, shock/turbulence interactions in dense gases can lead to the emission of energetic acoustic waves, which are significantly more powerful than in standard ideal gases. If present, such acoustic forcing can erode the expected turbine efficiency, generate vibrations and cause premature blade fatigue. The proposed research will establish a robust and fundamental understanding of sound emission from shock/turbulence interactions in dense gases, and provide a new understanding of the underlying physics, which will allow the development of predictive tools that can inform future design choices.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 11/12/14