Application of pulsed detonation engine for electric power generation

Philip K. Panicker, Jiun Ming Li, Frank K. Lu, Donald R. Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A compact sized PDE with an i.d. of 0.75 in. and length of l m was paired with an automotive turbocharger. The turbine-compressor shaft was used to drive a small ac generator by means of speed reduction wheels. The PDE was tested with propane-oxygen mixture at 15 Hz for a period of about 20 s. The turbine spun up to a speed of 127,000 rpm, whilst the generator produced electric power at 27 W and the compressor pumped air at a rate of 0.055 kg/s. The exhaust of the turbine was measured to be 800°C, which implies that the exhaust has enough enthalpy to drive a few more turbine stages. The radial turbine results in more losses as it diverts the flow by 90° and its housing also creates hot spots. Axial turbines are better suited for application with PDEs and also enable better speed reduction gearing mechanisms to be applied, allowing larger and heavier generators to be used with turbines. The turbocharger did not exhibit any signs of damage after several minutes of testing. In subsequent tests with the PDE, detonations were observed for H2-O2 mixtures, but H2-Air mixtures failed to detonate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2007
Event45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting 2007 - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: Jan 8 2007Jan 11 2007

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - 45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting


Other45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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