Prediction of self-pressurization rate of cryogenic propellant tankage


The SOLA-ECLIPSE code is being developed to enable prediction of the behavior of cryogenic propellants in spacecraft tankage. A brief description of the formulations used for modeling heat transfer and for determining the thermodynamic state is presented. Code performance is verified through comparison to experimental data for the self-pressurization of scale-model liquid hydrogen tanks. SOLA-ECLIPSE is used to examine the effect of initial subcooling of the liquid phase on the self-pressurization rate of an on-orbit full-scale liquid hydrogen tank typical for a chemical-propulsion orbit transfer vehicle. The computational predictions show that even small amounts of subcooling will significantly decrease the self-pressurization rate. Further, if the cooling is provided by a thermodynamic vent system, it is concluded that small levels of subcooling will maximize propellant conservation. © 1989 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Propulsion and Power