In the past few years, the field of pressure gain combustion (PGC) has been trying to realize the potential performance and efficiency gains available in the shift from constant pressure combustion to a PGC cycle. In this process, several combustor technologies that utilize a non-constant pressure heat release process to increase total pressure through the combustor have been developed, with the rotating detonation combustor (RDC) becoming one of the most promising. This combustor functions by initiating a detonation wave that propagates around the perimeter of a continually refilled annular combustor. In this way the detonation wave constantly propagates into fresh reactants after which reactant refill begins anew, while the combustion products are exhausted to provide thrust or drive turbomachinery. This simple description belies a great deal of complexity in the operation of the device, such as: the importance of reactant injection and reactant mixing, the coupling of the detonation with the chamber acoustics, minimizing total pressure loss, maximizing the work extracted through the unsteady outflow, and so on. Our group has been studying these effects in the past four years, and this presentation will highlight some of our results as we work to develop this technology.
Myles Bohon is a Guest Professor and head of the Pressure Gain Combustion research group at TU Berlin. Prior to that, Myles was a postdoc and research group leader for the development of the rotating detonation engine research group at TUB, resulting in the first demonstration of an RDE in Germany. Myles received his Ph.D. from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in 2016 in the Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC), with a focus on NOx emissions and formation mechanisms in oxygenated fuels. His current research interests include pressure gain combustion and unsteady reacting flows for innovative and sustainable energy, laser diagnostics for high temporal resolution in-situ measurements, and novel techniques for interpreting and identifying mechanisms in complex networks.
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