Electrochemical Pumps for Liquid Rocket Engines (LREs) – Battery & Motor Technology
There are many engine cycles available to the designer of liquid rocket propulsion systems--from pressure-fed to full-flow, staged combustion, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. With the proliferation of electric vehicle technology, we are seeing vast improvements in electrochemical battery power and energy density, as well as a corresponding increase in high-power/high-efficiency motor controllers and high, specific power electric motors. The advancements in these technologies enable a liquid rocket engine cycle using electric feed systems to be feasible; in fact, we have seen this technology repeatedly achieve orbit successfully. The history, benefits, and disadvantages of this cycle will be examined, along with key performance metrics of the electrochemical energy storage device, motor, and other components.