The wave rotor is a promising means of pressure-gain for gas turbine engines. This paper examines novel wave rotor topping cycles that incorporate low-NOx combustion strategies. This approach combines two-stage “rich-quench-lean” (RQL) combustion with intermediate expansion in the wave rotor to extract energy and reduce the peak stoichiometric temperature substantially. The thermodynamic cycle is a type of reheat cycle, with the rich-zone air undergoing a high-pressure stage. Rich-stage combustion could occur external to or within the wave rotor. An approximate analytical design method and CFD/combustion codes are used to develop and simulate wave rotor flow cycles. Engine cycles designed with a bypass turbine and external combustion demonstrate a performance enhancement equivalent to a 200–400 R (110–220 K) increase in turbine inlet temperature. The stoichiometric combustion temperature is reduced by 300–450 R (170–250 K) relative to an equivalent simple cycle, implying substantially reduced NOx formation.

1.
Azoury, P.H., 1965–1966, “An Introduction to the Dynamic Pressure Exchanger,” Proc. IMechE, Vol. 180, Part 1.
2.
Foa, J.V., 1960, Elements of Flight Propulsion, Wiley, New York.
3.
Holdeman
J. D.
,
1993
, “
Mixing of Multiple Jets With a Confined Subsonic Crossflow
,”
Progress in Energy and Combustion Sciences
, Vol.
19
, pp.
31
70
.
4.
Kantrowitz A., 1958, “One-Dimensional Treatment of Nonsteady Gas Dynamics,” in: Fundamentals of Gas Dynamics, H. W. Emmons, ed., Princeton University Press.
5.
Nalim, M.R., Mocsari, J.C., and Resler, E.L., Jr., 1993, “Wave Cycle Design for NOx-Limited Wave Rotor Core Engines for High Speed Propulsion,” ASME Paper No. 93-GT-426.
6.
Nalim, M.R., 1994a, “Wave Cycle Design for Wave Rotor Engines With Limited Nitrogen Oxide Emissions,” Ph.D. Thesis, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
7.
Nalim, M.R., 1994b, “Advanced Wave Rotor Design for Low NOx Turbine Engines,” NASA SBIR Phase I Contract No. NAS3-27208 Final Report, Proj. 4355, CFD Research Corp., Huntsville, AL.
8.
Resler
E. L.
,
Mocsari
J. C.
, and
Nalim
M. R.
,
1994
, “
Analytic Design Methods for Wave Rotor Cycles
,”
Journal of Propulsion and Power
, Vol.
10
, No.
5
, pp.
683
689
.
9.
Shreeve, R.P., and Mathur, A., eds., 1985, Proc.1985 ONR/NAVAIR Wave Rotor Research and Technology Workshop, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.
10.
Sladky, J.F., Jr., ed., 1984, “Machinery for Direct Fluid-Fluid Energy Exchange,” Vol. AD-07, Aerospace Div., ASME.
11.
Wilson, J., and Fronek, D., 1993, “Initial Results From the NASA-Lewis Wave Rotor Experiment,” Paper No. AIAA-93-2521.
This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.