A current issue with high-pressure-ratio compressors found in aircraft engines is the temperature of the air exiting the compressor. The exiting air is used as coolant for engine components found in later stages of the engine such as first-stage turbine blades, and afterburner walls. A viable option for reducing outlet temperature of high-pressure-ratio compressors is to “bleed-off” a fraction of the air which is cooled in a heat exchanger by rejecting heat into the liquid fuel stream and then use the air for cooling critical components downstream. Bleeding off air from the outlet of the compressor has two benefits: (1) air temperature is reduced, and (2) fuel temperature is elevated. Along with reduced air temperatures, the fuel will ultimately receive the heat lost from the air, making the fuel more ideal for combustion purposes. The higher temperature the fuel is received in the combustion process, the greater the work output will be according to the basics of thermodynamic combustion. The objective of this case study is to optimize the efficiency of the cross-flow micro channel heat exchanger, with respect to (1) volume (1.75–2.75 mm3) and heat transfer, and (2) weight (0.15–.25 N) and heat transfer. The optimization of the heat exchanger will be evaluated within the bounds of the 2nd law of thermodynamics (exergy). The only effective way to measure the 2nd law of thermodynamics is through exergy destruction or its equivalent form: entropy generation as a factor of dead state temperature. With relations and equations obtained to design an optimal heat exchanger, applications to high performance aircraft gas turbine engines is considered through exergy. The importance of developing an exergetic analysis for a thermal system is highly effective for identifying area’s within the system that have the path of highest resistance to work potential through various modes of heat transfer and pressure loss. Thus, optimization to reduce exergy destruction is sought after through this design method alongside verifying other heat exchanger methods through effectiveness.

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