MHD Power Generation in Scramjet Engines in Conjunction with Inlet Control
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Megawatt-scale MHD power generation on board of air-breathing hypersonic vehicles is made possible by the high flow enthalpy and velocity, and by the high static temperature (2,300 - 3,500 K) in the combustor and just downstream of it. In this paper, a ID model of MHD power generation downstream of scramjet combustor is developed, and power generation performance is predicted for a variety of generic hydrogen-fueled engine regimes. A modest amount of potassium seed is shown to yield good performance at magnetic fields on the order of 1 Tesla. One possible use of the MHD-generated power would be to add energy to the flow upstream of the inlet in order to optimize the inlet performance. In particular, MHD generated power can be used to create a virtual cowl that would increase mass capture and thrust of the engine. The paper also demonstrates that the megawatt-scale power, when added to the flow upstream of the inlet throat, can reduce the Mach number, leading to the possibility of substantially shortening or even eliminating the isolator.
author list (cited authors)
Macheret, S., Shneider, M., Miles, R., & Van Wie, D.