TECHNICAL PAPERS: Gas Turbines: A Review Paper

A Review of Wave Rotor Technology and Its Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Pezhman Akbari

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5132akbari@iupui.edu

Razi Nalim

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5132mnalim@iupui.edu

Norbert Mueller

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, 2455 Engineering Building, East Lansing, MI 48824-1226mueller@egr.msu.edu

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 128(4), 717-735 (Jan 19, 2006) (19 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2204628 History: Received December 07, 2004; Revised January 19, 2006

The objective of this paper is to provide a succinct review of past and current research in developing wave rotor technology. This technology has shown unique capabilities to enhance the performance and operating characteristics of a variety of engines and machinery utilizing thermodynamic cycles. Although there have been a variety of applications in the past, this technology is not yet widely used and is barely known to engineers. Here, an attempt is made to summarize both the previously reported work in the literature and ongoing efforts around the world. The paper covers a wide range of wave rotor applications including the early attempts to use wave rotors, its successful commercialization as superchargers for car engines, research on gas turbine topping, and other developments. The review also pays close attention to more recent efforts: utilization of such devices in pressure-gain combustors, ultra-micro gas turbines, and water refrigeration systems, highlighting possible further efforts on this topic. Observations and lessons learnt from experimental studies, numerical simulations, analytical approaches, and other design and analysis tools are presented.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Pressure , Waves , Rotors , Engines
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Figure 1

Shock wave, compressor, and diffuser isentropic efficiencies as functions of pressure gain

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Figure 2

Schematic configuration of a typical wave rotor

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Figure 3

Schematic of a gas turbine topped by a through-flow four-port wave rotor

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Figure 4

Comparison of off-design performance to baseline engine performance, taken from Ref. 11

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Figure 5

Schematic of a gas turbine topped by a reverse-flow four-port wave rotor

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Figure 6

Wave diagrams for through-flow (left) and reverse-flow (right) four-port wave rotors, taken from Ref. 16

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Figure 7

Wave rotor as a topping stage for the locomotive gas turbine, taken from Ref. 25

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Figure 8

The Comprex®, taken from Ref. 42

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Figure 9

Photograph of the CAL Wave Supercharger, taken from Ref. 6

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Figure 10

Schematic of a double wave rotor cycle, taken from Ref. 108

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Figure 11

The experimental divider test rig at Imperial College, taken from Ref. 6

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Figure 12

The Pearson rotor (left) and rear and front stator plates (right), taken from Ref. 132

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Figure 13

Ideal wave diagram of the Klapproth rotor, taken from Ref. 15

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Figure 14

Disassembled view of the GPC rotor, taken from Ref. 137

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Figure 15

Reverse-flow wave rotor of Rolls-Royce

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Figure 16

Schematic of the MSNW wave rotor experimental setup, taken from Ref. 29

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Figure 17

Conceptual design of a turbofan engine incorporating a wave rotor, taken from Ref. 145

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Figure 18

NASA four-port wave rotor

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Figure 19

ABB test rig (left) and cross section of the rotor channels (right), taken from Ref. 190

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Figure 20

Temperature distribution of partition exit flow, taken from Ref. 208

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Figure 21

Rotary Wave Ejector Pulse Detonation Engine, taken from Ref. 214

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Figure 22

Wave Rotor Pulse Detonation Engine, the “CVC” Engine, taken from Ref. 198

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Figure 23

University of Tokyo single-channel test rig, taken from Ref. 218 and a personal visit

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Figure 24

Schematic of the thermodynamic model of a R718 unit enhanced by a three-port condensing wave rotor (CWR), taken from Ref. 230

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Figure 25

Conceptual design of an ultra-micro power generator using a radial wave rotor, taken from Ref. 237

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Figure 26

Historical perspective of wave rotor technology. Red: gas turbine application. Green: IC engine supercharging. Blue: refrigeration cycle. Pink: pressure divider and equalizer. Purple: wave superheater. Orange: internal combustion wave rotors. Black: general applications.



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