How to Design and Optimize Cryogenic Rocket Engines by Coupling Flownex, TURBOdesign and Ansys Workbench?

As we look at new off-world destinations and applications, our launch-vehicle designs constantly need to evolve. Each component will need to be optimized for their purpose and the mission. Modern cryogenic turbopumps consist of many complex components, and it is necessary to model and iterate these component's design early on in the development of new cycles.

1D system simulation and 3D component simulation, alongside rapid, optimized, component design enables engineers to develop new turbopump engines with a high degree of accuracy and confidence.


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In this joint webinar presented by ADT and PADT, we presented a workflow for design of cryogenic turbopumps. Flownex is chosen for thermal-fluid simulation of the entire propulsion system. ADT's unique 3D inverse design method, TURBOdesign Suite, will rapidly generate operational maps and optimum 3D geometry of the turbopump. ANSYS CFX is used for evaluating designs and obtaining the full map of the turbopump. ANSYS Workbench with TURBOdesign suite embedded provides an integrated approach to make the turbopump more compact. 

For this analysis, we used the well-known RS25 Space Shuttle Main Engine. We start with a model of the entire engine in Flownex and then focus on the main Oxidizer pump. This is a double suction pump with inducer - initially represented as a basic centrifugal pump in Flownex.  Then TURBOdesign Suite is used to create an initial pump stage that meets the main requirements in terms of head, flow and efficiency as determined in Flownex. The performance of this initial stage is analysed by ANSYS CFX at design and off-design conditions, using single phase and 2 phase analysis. Then the pump stage is redesigned with the goal of making the pump more compact while meeting the required duty points. The generated maps are fed back into Flownex to allow for high fidelity full-system transient simulation.

The video is now available on-demand:

✔️ Learn how Flownex can integrate the mission engineering model with the thermal-fluid systems model to drive downstream detailed component design in Ansys and TURBOdesign;
✔️ Discover how TURBOdesign Suite can rapidly design the optimal 3D geometry of the cryogenic turbopump that meets the required duty points given by Flownex;
✔️ Understand how Ansys tools couple with Flownex and TURBOdesign to validate mission and system requirements, while laying the foundation of the Digital Twin.

Watch the Webinar

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Mehrdad Zangeneh

Mehrdad Zangeneh is Founder and Managing Director of Advanced Design Technology and professor of Thermofluids at University College London.

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