Theoretical & Computational Analysis of an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) Installation Cooling System

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This presentation discusses a theoretical one-dimensional model and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of a tailcone-installed APU cooling system using STAR-CCM+. The work is motivated by the need to deliver sufficient cooling airflow to critical components within an aircraft tailcone compartment.

The cooling system considered herein utilizes an eductor system at the APU exhaust and a ram air scoop near an upstream inlet to the compartment to induce the necessary cooling flow during ground and in-flight APU operation. A one-dimensional flow network model provides a framework for the quantification and matching of eductor pumping and system pressure drop characteristics. Detailed CFD models that simulate internal tailcone compartment flows driven by ambient conditions external to the aircraft, in ground or flight operation, support the one-dimensional model and are used to characterize component performance and assess different scoop and eductor designs. The one-dimensional flow network model is calibrated to the CFD results to predict system cooling performance under known APU loads at points on the ground and in the flight envelope.

The agreement between the models is encouraging and suggests the modeling framework and CFD techniques discussed will be applicable to future designs and improvements of eductor-driven aircraft compartment cooling systems.

Author Name: 
Parthiv Shah
Author Company: 
ATA Engineering Inc.