Print 81 comment(s) - last by Chocobollz.. on Nov 10 at 11:13 AM

NRL's model of a Rotating Detonation Engine  (Source:
Currently, the Navy has 129 ships with 430 gas-turbine engines that burn $2 billion of fuel annually

The U.S. Navy is working on new technology for its gas-turbine engines in order to decrease fuel consumption without sacrificing performance.

The answer, according to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), is equipping current gas-turbine engines with Rotating Detonation Engine (RDE) technology. These engines could not only efficiently provide propulsion for Navy planes and ships, but also create electricity for an all-electric propulsion system.

The Navy currently uses gas-turbine engines that are based on the Brayton thermodynamic cycle, where air is compressed, combined with fuel, combusted at a constant pressure and expanded. This allows for propulsion or generating electricity, just like the RDEs. However, the Brayton cycle is less efficient than the detonation cycle.

Dr. Kazhikathra Kailasanath, head of NRL's Laboratories for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics, noted the following in a 2011 paper for the NRL Review:

The challenge with detonation engines is realizing the efficiency of the detonation cycle. Concepts such as oblique detonation-wave engines have failed to be able to recover the efficiency of this detonation cycle, because much of the energy of the inflow is bound up in kinetic energy, which does not increase the pressure and thus does not improve the efficiency. Pulse detonation engines have taken a different approach by creating an unsteady process that removes the requirement of having high velocity inflow. This creates a whole new set of issues, such as rapid initiation of detonations and the requirement of efficient detonators.

The rotating detonation engine takes a different approach toward realizing the efficiency of the detonation cycle. By allowing the detonation to propagate azimuthally around an annular combustion chamber, the kinetic energy of the inflow can be held to a relatively low value, and thus the RDE can use most of the compression for gains in efficiency, while the flow field matches the steady detonation cycle closely.

Currently, the Navy has 129 ships with 430 gas-turbine engines that burn $2 billion of fuel annually. By equipping engines with RDE technology, power could be increased by 10 percent while fuel consumption would decrease by 25 percent. The Navy could also save $300-$400 million annually.

Source: U.S. Navy

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: .
By Jeffk464 on 11/4/2012 10:05:31 AM , Rating: -1
Well you can pout and stomp your feet all you want, my side of the argument has won. After Fukushema Nuclear power is basically dead around the world, except in China where they don't care what the public thinks. We were planning on building some new nuclear plants in the US, guess the odds on those being built now.

RE: .
By MadMan007 on 11/4/2012 11:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
When the public is stupid and wrong, what they think should matter a lot less.

RE: .
By bodar on 11/5/2012 4:34:47 AM , Rating: 2
This is what happens when you don't properly educate kids, like say, in critical thinking skills or science.

RE: .
By Vytautas on 11/5/2012 12:02:25 AM , Rating: 2
I suppose it´s not a very nice feeling when other find you ignorant or stupid. You don´t seem a bad person per se, just as previously said ignorant. Yes, there has been some backslash due to the events in Fukushima, but guess what, atomic power plants are still being built and new plants are being planned even now. For example the case of Germany and France. Germany has decided to close their atomic powerplants and import the electricity from other countries, mainly France which has a surplus due to.... "atomic power". : ) : ) In other words, nothing has really changed just that the german people will have negative economic repercussions for this decision, while the french will certainly benefit. Yes, it´s true that for now there is a reduced interest in atomic powerplants, but even so there is a backlog of five to ten years if not more for new reactor housings and such (due to the limited amount of manufacturing capacity).

In short. The common person is pretty ignorant of all scientific matters and very inclined to believe all kinds of missinformation and fearmongering lies. Also that person is also very inclined to fear the unknown. But the truth is that if we allow our decisions to be determined by this common stupidity denominator the countries of the world will suffer the economical and ecological consequences.

Whatever you believe, know this: atomic power is the cleanest and most economically and ecologically sensible energy generation technology humanity has developed till now. If you prefer dying of cancer due to the fumes of coal or oil power plants be my guest. If you think wind and solar power would be enough you have deluded yourself. The inherent instability of such power sources allows it to provide up to 10-15% of the total energy generation capacity. Meaning it´s got its´ place but cannot be the main source of energy for humanity unless you are happy having brownouts all the time or having each family be forced to invest tens of thousands of dollars in battery backups every five years. Not speaking about industry which in some cases MUST have an uninterrupted supply of electricity due to the production processes involved. Fossil fuels (coal, oil or gas) are a very dirty source of energy and one which will get more expensive each day.

There is a lot more information about this subject I could give you. If you are really interested to learn about this, let me know I will gladly help you.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
Related Articles

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki