Expander Cycle

The expander cycle is similar to the staged combustion cycle but has no preburner. Heat in the cooling jacket of the main combustion chamber serves to vaporize the fuel. The fuel vapor is then passed through the turbine and injected into the main chamber to burn with the oxidizer. This cycle works with fuels such as hydrogen or methane, which have a low boiling point and can be vaporized easily. As with the staged combustion cycle, all of the propellants are burned at the optimal mixture ratio in the main chamber, and typically no flow is dumped overboard; however, the heat transfer to the fuel limits the power available to the turbine, making this cycle appropriate for small to midsize engines. A variation of the system is the open, or bleed, expander cycle, which uses only a portion of the fuel to drive the turbine. In this variation, the turbine exhaust is dumped overboard to ambient pressure to increase the turbine pressure ratio and power output. This can achieve higher chamber pressures than the closed expander cycle although at lower efficiency because of the overboard flow.


"Power Cycles | Aerospace Engineering". 2013. Aerospacengineering.Net. http://www.aerospacengineering.net/power-cycles/.