Author Topic: Blue Origin : BE-3 and BE-3U Engine  (Read 118251 times)

Offline Joel

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #20 on: 01/29/2013 08:36 pm »
You generally want to avoid a phase change because the point of onset can be variable, and the convection coefficient changes drastically when you go from liquid to gas. What you want is a very predictable, low variability heat transfer situation to prevent local hot spots. Therefore, you operate at a high enough pressure that the fluid is supercritical (neither liquid or gas), and undergoes a smooth, continuous transition. The heat capacity of the fluid is more important than the heat of vaporization. You want it high because it means you can absorb lots of heat while keeping the fluid temp relatively low. A higher heat capacity also gives a higher convective heat transfer coefficient, which makes the fluid a better coolant..

Now, with that said, oxygen can be used, but it's not nearly as good at it. Cp is around 1 kJ/kg, versus 14 for hydrogen. There have been proposals using oxygen for cooling, and to provide some of the power, it's just that the fuel is usually the better choice.

Ok, thanks for clarifying!

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #21 on: 01/29/2013 10:26 pm »
P&W Rocketdyne and Mitsubishi have been talking a 50,000-lbf+ thrust class RL60 or MBXX expander cycle higher thrust upgrade to RL10 for about 10 years, so I am thinking that it is harder than people think to take closed expander cycle engines to more than 30,000-lbf thrust.
The PDF you linked to says PWR?MHI had the guts of the MBXX on a test stand in Japan in 2005 running at 28 tonnes thrust and about 140bar chamber pressure. I'm not sure how far they were from a full engine but they certainly had the core running. I got the impression the MB60 is much more speculative.

Quote
I would like to think that the BE-3 uses expander cycle, but it seems a lot easier for BO to start the higher 100,000-lbf thrust BE-3 with a gas generator cycle that they understand, and then upgrade that to an expander bleed cycle in the future as the Japanese have done with LE-5 engine.
Note the use of a LH2/LO2 engine opens up the possibility of reviving the "gas chamber tapoff" cycle from the original J2-X / J2-S programme. This is an incremental improvement to the GG cycle, eliminating the GG totally and spinning up the turbine with a tank head start. Although most descriptions describe it as using start cartridges final reports indicated the team had work out it was back pressure from the chamber cooling that was preventing turbine spin up and proper valve control has cured this, allowing unlimited  re-starts.
For increased simplicity they could go to the premixed catalytic ignitor pioneerd by aerojet, eliminating any spark plugs or high voltage ignition systems.

The trouble is information on it is hard to come by. The tapoff design was tricky. That said modern tools like IR imaging of a running engine and high fidelity FAE and CFD would let the BO team start from a much better position than the original Rocketdyne group.

Quote
The 100,000-lbf thrust of BE-3 makes me think that expander cycle is too big a leap for the BO engine team, because no one in the world has tested an expander cycle at that high a thrust level yet (the Japanese might start testing LE-X this year).
That would be very impressive.
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Offline Prober

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #22 on: 01/31/2013 02:18 am »
P&W Rocketdyne and Mitsubishi have been talking a 50,000-lbf+ thrust class RL60 or MBXX expander cycle higher thrust upgrade to RL10 for about 10 years, so I am thinking that it is harder than people think to take closed expander cycle engines to more than 30,000-lbf thrust.
The PDF you linked to says PWR?MHI had the guts of the MBXX on a test stand in Japan in 2005 running at 28 tonnes thrust and about 140bar chamber pressure. I'm not sure how far they were from a full engine but they certainly had the core running. I got the impression the MB60 is much more speculative.

Quote
I would like to think that the BE-3 uses expander cycle, but it seems a lot easier for BO to start the higher 100,000-lbf thrust BE-3 with a gas generator cycle that they understand, and then upgrade that to an expander bleed cycle in the future as the Japanese have done with LE-5 engine.
Note the use of a LH2/LO2 engine opens up the possibility of reviving the "gas chamber tapoff" cycle from the original J2-X / J2-S programme. This is an incremental improvement to the GG cycle, eliminating the GG totally and spinning up the turbine with a tank head start. Although most descriptions describe it as using start cartridges final reports indicated the team had work out it was back pressure from the chamber cooling that was preventing turbine spin up and proper valve control has cured this, allowing unlimited  re-starts.
For increased simplicity they could go to the premixed catalytic ignitor pioneerd by aerojet, eliminating any spark plugs or high voltage ignition systems.

The trouble is information on it is hard to come by. The tapoff design was tricky. That said modern tools like IR imaging of a running engine and high fidelity FAE and CFD would let the BO team start from a much better position than the original Rocketdyne group.

Quote
The 100,000-lbf thrust of BE-3 makes me think that expander cycle is too big a leap for the BO engine team, because no one in the world has tested an expander cycle at that high a thrust level yet (the Japanese might start testing LE-X this year).
That would be very impressive.
I got the impression the MB60 is much more speculative.

I got the impression the project was very close to being done and just not put into the next set of test then production
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Offline gin455res

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #23 on: 02/20/2013 06:04 pm »
Would an expander bleed cycle that uses a hydrogen expander to pump a hydrocarbon and oxygen into a combustion chamber make for a moderate-thrust rugged (reusable)  engine?

Offline strangequark

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #24 on: 02/20/2013 06:28 pm »
Would an expander bleed cycle that uses a hydrogen expander to pump a hydrocarbon and oxygen into a combustion chamber make for a moderate-thrust rugged (reusable)  engine?

No, the advantage of expander bleed is that you have the hydrogen anyway. Storing a, relatively, small amount of a deep cryogen just to run the turbine would be overly complicated.

Offline Hyperion5

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #25 on: 02/20/2013 06:54 pm »
Would an expander bleed cycle that uses a hydrogen expander to pump a hydrocarbon and oxygen into a combustion chamber make for a moderate-thrust rugged (reusable)  engine?

No, the advantage of expander bleed is that you have the hydrogen anyway. Storing a, relatively, small amount of a deep cryogen just to run the turbine would be overly complicated.

How does a staged combustion cycle hydrolox engine compare to an expander cycle in terms of development issues and performance possibilities?  I know people have been speculating Blue Origin may push into expander cycle tech, but would there be any good reasons why they might consider staged combustion cycle tech instead?  100,000 lbf of thrust sounds like a good place to start considering SC cycle. 
« Last Edit: 02/20/2013 06:56 pm by Hyperion5 »

Offline catdlr

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #26 on: 02/28/2013 10:36 pm »
Blue Origin Tests BE-3 Engine

Published on Feb 28, 2013
Blue Origin successfully fires the thrust chamber assembly for its new 100,000 pound thrust BE-3 liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen rocket engine. As part of the company's Reusable Booster System (RBS), the engines are designed eventually to launch the biconic-shaped Space Vehicle the company is developing in collaboration with NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #27 on: 02/28/2013 10:51 pm »
Very under-expanded. Points to being designed for throttlability (which, of course, is their plan). (Could also be they simply didn't bother fabricating the whole nozzle, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;) )
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Offline hkultala

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #28 on: 03/07/2013 05:13 am »
100000 pound = 445 kN.

So 4 times bigger than RL-10?

Would vacuum-nozzle version of this make a great engine for upper stage of
1) Later versions of SLS
2) Delta IV Heavy / Atlas V 5xx ?

The performance of the heavier configurations of the ULA rockets seem to be severely limited by the thrust of RL-10 and also the RL-10 cost is so high that they don't want to use multiple of those.

Offline Jason1701

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #29 on: 03/07/2013 05:19 am »
100000 pound = 445 kN.

So 4 times bigger than RL-10?

Would vacuum-nozzle version of this make a great engine for upper stage of
1) Later versions of SLS
2) Delta IV Heavy / Atlas V 5xx ?

The performance of the heavier configurations of the ULA rockets seem to be severely limited by the thrust of RL-10 and also the RL-10 cost is so high that they don't want to use multiple of those.


3) Falcon Heavy
That would be some great synergy.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #30 on: 03/07/2013 05:28 am »
100000 pound = 445 kN.

So 4 times bigger than RL-10?

Would vacuum-nozzle version of this make a great engine for upper stage of
1) Later versions of SLS
2) Delta IV Heavy / Atlas V 5xx ?

The performance of the heavier configurations of the ULA rockets seem to be severely limited by the thrust of RL-10 and also the RL-10 cost is so high that they don't want to use multiple of those.


3) Falcon Heavy
That would be some great synergy.
A real paradigm shift win-win best of breed solution. (sorry ;))

(Also: "As an NSF thread grows longer, the probability of SpaceX or Elon Musk being invoked approaches 1.")
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Offline Lar

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #31 on: 03/07/2013 05:39 am »
(Also: "As an NSF thread grows longer, the probability of SpaceX or Elon Musk being invoked approaches 1.")
I see what you did there!

It WOULD be nifty, but it would violate the "same propellants for all stages" dictum, no?
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Offline Jason1701

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #32 on: 03/07/2013 06:08 am »
100000 pound = 445 kN.

So 4 times bigger than RL-10?

Would vacuum-nozzle version of this make a great engine for upper stage of
1) Later versions of SLS
2) Delta IV Heavy / Atlas V 5xx ?

The performance of the heavier configurations of the ULA rockets seem to be severely limited by the thrust of RL-10 and also the RL-10 cost is so high that they don't want to use multiple of those.


3) Falcon Heavy
That would be some great synergy.
A real paradigm shift win-win best of breed solution. (sorry ;))

(Also: "As an NSF thread grows longer, the probability of SpaceX or Elon Musk being invoked approaches 1.")

Actually, they were invoked in only the third post. ;)

Offline Danderman

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #33 on: 03/07/2013 02:52 pm »
100000 pound = 445 kN.

So 4 times bigger than RL-10?

Would vacuum-nozzle version of this make a great engine for upper stage of
1) Later versions of SLS
2) Delta IV Heavy / Atlas V 5xx ?

The performance of the heavier configurations of the ULA rockets seem to be severely limited by the thrust of RL-10 and also the RL-10 cost is so high that they don't want to use multiple of those.


3) Falcon Heavy
That would be some great synergy.

Apart from being larger than RL-10, if the new engine is cheaper to produce than the Byzantine RL-10 design, that would be a good thing.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #34 on: 03/07/2013 03:05 pm »
We ignore the isp, T/W, O/F, actuation, pressurization gases and are assuming it has multiple restart capabilities. Even though it's quite possible it can be restarted multiple times, I think it's too early to say anything or speculate.
We don't even know the cycle, only know it's pump fed. We also know that only the combustion chamber was demonstrated and thus it's quite probable they are still working on the turbopump. In other words, its still in design and we ignore the most basic data.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #35 on: 03/07/2013 05:45 pm »
The BE-3 engine is about as far along that we can tell as Merlin was 10 years ago. Details like T/W, Isp, O/F, actuation, pressurization (which makes very little difference to the engine itself except what flows through the heat exchanger for heating up the ullage gas), and restart number are almost entirely up in the air and could change.

We do know BE-3 /will/ be air-started (it's supposed to be an upper stage engine at some point) and certainly restartable (you don't really think they're going to keep it lit constantly for /operational/ suborbital flights do you? They wouldn't be able to reach the Karman line and return while keeping it lit all the time, so restarting at very least for landing is essentially guaranteed to be one of their design requirements).
« Last Edit: 03/07/2013 05:46 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #36 on: 03/07/2013 06:11 pm »
The BE-3 engine is about as far along that we can tell as Merlin was 10 years ago. Details like T/W, Isp, O/F, actuation, pressurization (which makes very little difference to the engine itself except what flows through the heat exchanger for heating up the ullage gas), and restart number are almost entirely up in the air and could change.
Pressurization and actuation doesn't makes much of a difference if you are designing for it. But here they were talking about retrofitting every big US LV out there. Specially since the thermal conditioning and fuel pressurization needed for restarts has to be achievable after many hours in space to complete the sort of missions that the EELV's US need to perform. That was my point.

Quote
We do know BE-3 /will/ be air-started (it's supposed to be an upper stage engine at some point) and certainly restartable (you don't really think they're going to keep it lit constantly for /operational/ suborbital flights do you? They wouldn't be able to reach the Karman line and return while keeping it lit all the time, so restarting at very least for landing is essentially guaranteed to be one of their design requirements).
It's a technicality, but I said multiple restart capability. We know that it will be able to restart, and obviously air start. And being an H2 engine, it's probable that it will have 5 or more starts. But we don't know. And the US they were talking about to retrofit need to do very complex missions, including upto five restarts (that we known of).

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #37 on: 03/07/2013 07:00 pm »
How many starts it will be able to do depends simply on how many it needs to do for whatever application it is being used for. This isn't a serious design constraint once it's capable of in-air restart (just add more cartridges or pressurant to spin up the turbo, whatever).
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Offline Joel

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #38 on: 03/07/2013 09:22 pm »
We ignore the isp, T/W, O/F, actuation, pressurization gases and are assuming it has multiple restart capabilities. Even though it's quite possible it can be restarted multiple times, I think it's too early to say anything or speculate.
We don't even know the cycle, only know it's pump fed. We also know that only the combustion chamber was demonstrated and thus it's quite probable they are still working on the turbopump. In other words, its still in design and we ignore the most basic data.

I got the feeling that it was further along

In the presentation earlier in the thread:
Quote
...while doing the testing on the TCA at Stennis, we were also testing the turbopumps, the liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen turbopumps, at our facility in West Texas and now we have the engine fully put together and the testing of that engine is underway at our facility in West Texas.

Offline Joel

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-3 Engine
« Reply #39 on: 03/07/2013 09:32 pm »
Very under-expanded. Points to being designed for throttlability (which, of course, is their plan). (Could also be they simply didn't bother fabricating the whole nozzle, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;) )

It's the same video as in the presentation. They continuously change the throttling from 10-20 % to 100 %.

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