Influence of phase change on self-pressurization in cryogenic tanks under microgravity

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Future operations of many fluid, thermal and power systems and their ability to store, transfer, and manage a variety of single or multiphase fluids in reduced gravity environment are of great importance. For many of these systems, cryogenic conditions will play an important role. Cryogenic vaporization, caused by heat leakage into the tank from the surrounding environment, is one of the main causes of mass loss and leads to self-pressurization of the storage tanks. Available publications on self-pressurization and stratification of cryogenic tanks mainly focus on the convection and surface evaporation influences. Because large superheats increase the likelihood of evaporation in the liquid, the evaporation and its effect on vapor pressure under microgravity is studied numerically in this paper. The effects of reduced gravity, contact angle of the vapor bubble, and surface tension are investigated. The computations are carried out by using the CFD software package, Ansys Fluent, and an in-house developed code to calculate the source term associated with the phase change. A coupled level set and the volume-of-fluid method (CLSVOF) are used to solve a single set of conservation equations for the whole domain and the interface between the two phases is tracked or captured. A heat and mass transfer model is implemented into the Fluent code for solving problems involving evaporation or condensation. Results show that small tiny vapor regions caused by the evaporation process change the pressure rise. Vortices are observed due to the vapor dynamics. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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Externa organisationer
  • National University of Defense Technology

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Energiteknik
  • Strömningsmekanik och akustik


Sidor (från-till)225-233
TidskriftApplied Thermal Engineering
StatusPublished - 2015
Peer review utfördJa