An Energy of Fluid (EOF) approach to modeling self pressurization in propellant tanks


Cryogenic propellant tanks in space are exposed to incident solar radiation which heats the liquid in tank over time. The increase in temperature results in an increase in pressure as the liquid vaporizes, i.e. self pressurization. Recent studies focused on predicting the pressurization process in cryogenic propellant tanks have produced analytic, experimental, and numerical results. These studies play a critical role in the design of cryogenic storage systems since tank pressure must be controlled for long duration space missions. The objective of current research is to develop a complete finite volume based CFD model of tank pressurization in reduced gravity using an Energy of Fluid (EOF) approach and to use the simulation to aid in the design and prediction of propellant management technologies aimed at controlling tank pressurization. The mass and momentum equations in FLUENT, a commercial CFD code are utilized. The FLUENT model is enhanced by adding a user-defined function to compute the internal energy required to implement the EOF method in order to solve the energy equation in terms of internal energy and not enthalpy. Copyright © 2009 by A P Winter J G Marchetta.

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47th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition

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