United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Time filter

Source Type

Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 2.44M | Year: 2011

This research is about simulating and designing the engineering flow systems that will form a major part of the responses to health, transportation, energy and climate challenges that the world faces over the next 40 years.The United Nations estimates that by 2050 four billion people in 48 countries will lack sufficient water. But 97 percent of the water on the planet is saltwater, and much of the remaining freshwater is frozen in glaciers or the polar ice caps. If the glaciers in the polar regions continue to melt, as expected, the supply of freshwater may actually decrease: freshwater from the melting glaciers will mingle with saltwater in the oceans and become too salty to drink, and rising sea levels will contaminate freshwater sources along coastal regions. Technologies for large-scale purification of seawater or other contaminated water to make it drinkable are therefore urgently needed.At the same time, figures from the US Energy Information Administration project an average growth rate of 2.7 percent per year for transportation energy use in non-OECD countries to 2030 - this is 8 times higher than the projected rate for OECD countries. Chinas passenger transportation energy use per capita alone is projected to triple over this period, and Indias to double. Improving the fuel efficiency of air and marine transport is a strategic priority for governments and companies around the world, and will have the added benefit of reducing emissions and helping address climate change. Micro and nano scale engineering presents an important opportunity to help meet these pressing challenges. For example, early indications are that membranes of carbon nanotubes have remarkable properties in filtering salt ions and other contaminants from water. Also, controlling the turbulent drag on aircraft and ship hulls, which is a major inefficiency in modern transportation, may be achievable by embedding micro systems and/or nano structures over the vehicles surface.This cross-disciplinary research programme targets the unconventional fluid dynamics that is key to innovating in these visionary applications. The work is strongly supported by 9 external partners, ranging from large multinational companies to SMEs and public advisory bodies, and brings together established research groups from two major UK universities and a national research institute. We will deliver a comprehensive new technique for simulating mixed equilibrium/non-equilibrium fluid dynamics at the nano and micro scale, and deploy it on three important technical challenges that span the range of economic and societal impact, from energy to healthcare. These are drag reduction in aerospace, applications of super-hydrophobic surfaces to marine transport, and water desalination / purification. In this research we aim to:- accurately predict the performance of the proposed technologies;- optimise their design within realistic engineering parameters;- propose new designs which exploit flow behaviour at this scale for technological impact.The research partnership leading this Programme has flourished over 10 years into an international driver for understanding these kinds of thermodynamically non-equilibrium flows, attracting substantial joint funding and producing co-authored research publications. The partnership is poised to effect the step-change in non-equilibrium flow simulation capabilities that is needed to make new technologies at the micro and nano scale practicable, beyond any currently conceived.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Fast Track | Award Amount: 63.61K | Year: 2012

Precooled hydrogen fuelled hypersonic engines offer the capability to achieve Mach 5 terrestrial transport and enable single stage to orbit reusable launch vehicles. This concept is set to revolutionise access to space, potentially delivering a ten-fold cost reduction compared to current launch systems. Key to propulsion efficiency is a unique precooler developed by Reaction Engines. There is very little experience globally in the integration of such devices into hypersonic propulsion systems, and a previous TSB feasibility study highlighted some important potential flow inefficiencies. This project will undertake CFD modelling and experimental measurements to provide understanding of the flow through the precooler installation. It will use this to design, manufacture and test an optimised cowl and centrebody aimed at improving the precooler installation aerodynamics. This study is critical to gain future private investment in this ground-breaking technology, aiding innovation in line with NSTS.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd. | Date: 2014-06-05

A duct for forming a generally annular passage such as an inlet to a turbine, the duct having a plurality of tubes angularly spaced from one another and distributed around an axis.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd. | Date: 2014-06-05

A turbomachine apparatus for driving a compressor is disclosed. The turbomachine apparatus contains at least one rotor stage and at least one retaining element. The at least one rotor stage contains a plurality of blades and is configured to rotate about an axis. The at least one retaining element is configured to retain the at least one rotor stage with the blades thereof at least partly or wholly in radial compression during rotation thereof.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd | Date: 2014-06-05

The present disclosure relates to an engine having two modes of operationair breathing and rocketthat may be used in aerospace applications such as in an aircraft, flying machine, or aerospace vehicle. The engines efficiency can be maximized by using a precooler arrangement to cool intake air in air breathing mode using cold fuel used for the rocket mode. By introducing the precooler and certain other engine cycle components, and arranging and operating them as described, problems such as those associated with higher fuel and weight requirements and frost formation can be alleviated.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd | Date: 2014-06-05

A rotational machine such as a turbocompressor has a fluid recovery system for recovering leaked working fluid such as gaseous helium in a helium circuit which has leaked past a shaft seal, a purifier being provided for removing contaminants from the working fluid, and turbocompressor may have one fluid such as helium or hydrogen working through one turbo component such as a turbine thereof and a second working fluid such as air or helium working through a second turbo component such as a compressor thereof, the rotational machine being installable in an engine of a flying machine.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd | Date: 2014-06-05

A heat exchanger which may be used in an engine, such as a vehicle engine for an aircraft or orbital launch vehicle. is provided. The heat exchanger may be configured as generally drum-shaped with a multitude of spiral sections, each containing numerous small diameter tubes. The spiral sections may spiral inside one another. The heat exchanger may include a support structure with a plurality of mutually axially spaced hoop supports, and may incorporate an intermediate header. The heat exchanger may incorporate recycling of methanol or other antifreeze used to prevent blocking of the heat exchanger due to frost or ice formation.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd | Date: 2014-06-05

A nozzle arrangement for an engine that is operable in both an air-breathing mode, in which the engine combusts air taken in from atmosphere with hydrogen from a store thereof, and in a rocket mode, in which the engine combusts oxygen from a store thereof with hydrogen from the store thereof. The nozzle arrangement may include a rocket combustion chamber fluidly coupled by a rocket throat to a rocket nozzle. The rocket nozzle includes a first portion adjacent the rocket throat and a second portion remote from the rocket throat and axially moveable relative to the first portion between a rocket position in which they form a substantially contiguous rocket nozzle and an air-breathing position in which they overlap to define an annular throat therebetween. The nozzle arrangement may also include at least one air-breathing combustion chamber arranged to be fluidly coupled to the annular throat when the first and second portions of the nozzle are in the air-breathing position.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd | Date: 2014-06-05

The present disclosure relates to an engine having two modes of operationair breathing and rocketthat may be used in aerospace applications such as in an aircraft, flying machine, or aerospace vehicle. The engines efficiency can be maximized by using a precooler arrangement to cool intake air in air breathing mode using cold fuel delivery systems used for the rocket mode. By introducing the precooler and certain other engine cycle components, and arranging and operating them as described, problems such as those associated with higher fuel and weight requirements and frost formation can be alleviated.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd | Date: 2014-06-05

The invention relates to a mounting assembly for a rocket nozzle for an engine that may be operable in rocket mode, in which the engine combusts stored oxygen and hydrogen, or in air-breathing mode, in which the engine combusts air from the atmosphere and stored hydrogen. A plurality of ducts and pipes are connected to the nozzle to supply fuel and other fluids. As it is desirable to allow the nozzle to pivot, the mounting assembly may include flexible couplings on the ducts and pipes about selected pivot points allowing the desired freedom of motion. The flexible couplings are designed to withstand various pressure forces in the rocket/aircraft flight environment, and may be composed of spaced annular elements, wherein a partial toroid element connects consecutive pairs of annular elements.

Loading Reaction Engines Ltd collaborators
Loading Reaction Engines Ltd collaborators