Multi-Element Unstructured Analyses of Complex Valve Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
Vineet Ahuja

 Combustion Research and Flow Technology, Inc., Pipersville, PA 18947vineet@craft-tech.com

Ashvin Hosangadi, Jeremy Shipman

 Combustion Research and Flow Technology, Inc., Pipersville, PA 18947

Russell Daines, Jody Woods

Jacobs Sverdrup NASA Test Operations Group, NASA Stennis Space Center, MS 39529

J. Fluids Eng 128(4), 707-716 (Aug 24, 2005) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2170119 History: Received January 24, 2005; Revised August 24, 2005

The safe and reliable operation of high-pressure test stands for rocket engine and component testing places an increased emphasis on the performance of control valves and flow metering devices. In this paper, we will present a series of high-fidelity computational analyses of systems ranging from cryogenic control valves and pressure regulator systems to cavitating venturis that are used to support rocket engine and component testing at NASA Stennis Space Center. A generalized multi-element framework with submodels for grid adaption, grid movement, and multi-phase flow dynamics has been used to carry out the simulations. Such a framework provides the flexibility of resolving the structural and functional complexities that are typically associated with valve-based high-pressure feed systems and have been difficult to deal with using traditional computational fluid dynamics methods. Our simulations revealed a rich variety of flow phenomena such as secondary flow patterns, hydrodynamic instabilities, fluctuating vapor pockets, etc. In the paper, we will discuss performance losses related to cryogenic control valves and provide insight into the physics of the dominant multi-phase fluid transport phenomena that are responsible for the “choking-like” behavior in cryogenic control elements. Additionally, we will provide detailed analyses of the modal instability that is observed in the operation of a pressure regulator valve. Such instabilities are usually not localized and manifest themselves as a system-wide phenomena leading to an undesirable chatter at high flow conditions.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Pressure regulator valve geometry with the multi-element grid (shown along the symmetry plane) used to mesh the valve flowpath

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Figure 2

Schematic of a 6in. gaseous hydrogen valve

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Figure 3

(a) Multi-element grid for a 6in. gaseous hydrogen valve, (b) blow-up of the grid in the seat region. Hexahedral-tetrahedral grid at valve-pipe interface.

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Figure 4

Symmetry plane of the grid illustrating the multi-element mesh topology

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Figure 5

Plots of (a) streamlines through the valve housing colored with Mach number illustrating the large recirculation region, (b) pressure contours, and (c) Mach number contours on the symmetry plane

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Figure 6

Plots of the transient solution showing (a) location of probe points on the poppet, (b) pressure history for the seven points, and (c) frequency spectrum indicating the dominant instability modes

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Figure 7

10in. cryogenic valve performance

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Figure 8

Single phase pressure distribution for the venturi operating with liquid oxygen

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Figure 9

Vapor void fraction in cavitating venturi indicating vapor throughout the cross section of the venturi

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Figure 10

Pressure and temperature distribution in the cavitating venturi




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