Design optimization of the heat transfer model for a high heat flux test facility

Linda Hyemin Yoon, University of Texas at El Paso


There are a variety of fuels that are utilized for space applications and in recent years, environmentally friendly fuels have been of interest. In the case of bipropellant rocket systems, hydrocarbon fuels have come to the attention of scientists and engineers. In particular, liquid methane was of interest in this study because of its physical and chemical advantages over other fuels, such as liquid hydrogen. Rocket engines rise to very high temperatures and to avoid catastrophic mechanical failure, a cooling system must be implemented within the engine to cool the walls. To get a better understanding of the fluid flow characteristics of liquid methane, the Center for Space Exploration Technology and Research (cSETR) at University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has designed and built a high heat flux test facility (HHFTF) to investigate its heat transfer characteristics. The HHFTF was developed in conjunction with Johnson Space Center (JSC) at NASA; its purpose is to simulate a cryogenic fuel going through a single channel that is exposed to high heat levels on one side. The system simulates the 1-dimensional, asymmetric heat flow experienced by the hot wall of a cooling channel in a regenerative rocket engine. A heated copper block delivers heat to small, rectangular, single channel test articles. To understand the capabilities HHFTF, a calibration method must be thoroughly defined. The goal of this study is to develop an accurate measurement of the heat being transferred to the test article within the system. By exploring a variety of different temperature measurements, and a new methodology for calculating heat flow rate, the analysis is conclusive in defining the overall heat transfer model for the system.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Yoon, Linda Hyemin, "Design optimization of the heat transfer model for a high heat flux test facility" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1583964.