Review Article

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2019;141(6):060801-060801-26. doi:10.1115/1.4042168.

The dual fuel concept of diesel engines is gaining popularity because of their ability to use alternative renewable gaseous fuels (natural gas, biogas, producer gas) and liquid fuels (biodiesel, alcohol, and others) simultaneously. The dual fuel mode (DFM) not only reduces the consumption of diesel or substitutes the diesel fuel, but there is an advantage of operating the engine in pure diesel mode (PDM) in case of shortage of gaseous primary fuel. The uses of renewable fuels in such engines have the positive impact on green ecosystem in terms of reduction in NOx and smoke emissions; however, there is the engine derating as performance penalty in comparison to engines operating under PDM. The most influential parameters in DFM engines are the type and flow rate of inducted gaseous fuel, fuel–air equivalence ratio (Φglobal), compression ratio (CR), and injection timing (IT). During the last few decades, the researchers have studied the effect of various parameters to improve the overall performance characteristics (performance, combustion, and emission) of DFM engines. This paper makes an in-depth analysis to unveil the physical characteristics of the crucial parameters of DFM engines with specific reference to the use of biogas with ternary blends (TB) of diesel, biodiesel, and ethanol. The paper addresses the issues on how the gaseous fuel flow rate, preheating of the intake charge, compression ratio, injection timing, and the type of oxygenated fuels dominate the overall performance characteristics.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(6):061001-061001-9. doi:10.1115/1.4041922.

A series of experiments were performed on a vertical EV burner with a constant coflow air of 873 L/min to generate turbulent lean premixed flow in order to study the impact of the addition of acetylene/argon mixture to the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on the temperature field and flame structure. The fluidics mechanism was inserted at a fixed position inside the entry section of the EV burner assembly. The flow rates of fuel (LPG/C2H2/Ar) and air were measured using calibrated rotameters. The different volume ratios of the fuel constituents were admitted via three solenoid valves and monitored using a labview program. The axial temperature profiles at different operating conditions were measured using (type S) thermocouple. Flame images were obtained—before and after fluidics insertion—using a high-resolution digital camera. The experimental program aims at identifying and analyzing the changes in flame characteristics resulting from the insertion of fluidics while considering different proportions of the fuel constituents) (including pure LPG, as a reference case). The results obtained indicate the following: it was noticed that in most cases of pure LPG only and other mixtures, the images show increase in the length of the flame and decrease of its luminosity as a result of higher degrees of swirl due to the fluidics insertion while the temperature profiles of the different flames were changed. It was indicated that NOx trend was decreased by 52% while the combustion efficiency was improved by 2.5%.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2019;141(6):061002-061002-8. doi:10.1115/1.4042302.

The recent growth of private options in launch vehicles has substantially raised price competition in the space launch market. This has increased the need to deliver reliable launch vehicles at reduced engine development cost and has led to increased industrial interest in reduced order models. Large-scale liquid rocket engines require high-speed turbopumps to inject cryogenic propellants into the combustion chamber. These pumps can experience cavitation instabilities even when operating near design conditions. Of particular concern is rotating cavitation (RC), which is characterized by an asymmetric cavity rotating at the pump inlet, which can cause severe vibration, breaking of the pump, and loss of the mission. Despite much work in the field, there are limited guidelines to avoid RC during design and its occurrence is often assessed through costly experimental testing. This paper presents a source term based model for stability assessment of rocket engine turbopumps. The approach utilizes mass and momentum source terms to model cavities and hydrodynamic blockage in inviscid, single-phase numerical calculations, reducing the computational cost of the calculations by an order of magnitude compared to traditional numerical methods. Comparison of the results from the model with experiments and high-fidelity calculations indicates agreement of the head coefficient and cavity blockage within 0.26% and 5%, respectively. The computations capture RC in a two-dimensional (2D) inducer at the expected flow coefficient and cavitation number. The mechanism of formation and propagation of the instability is correctly reproduced.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2019;141(6):061003-061003-9. doi:10.1115/1.4042303.

Deep surge is a violent fluid instability that occurs within turbomachinery compression systems and limits the low-flow operating range. It is characterized by large amplitude pressure and flow rate fluctuations, where the cross-sectional averaged flow direction alternates between forward and reverse. The present study includes both measurements and predictions from a turbocharger centrifugal compressor installed on a gas stand. A three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of the compression system was constructed to carry out unsteady surge predictions. The results included here capture the transition from mild to deep surge, as the flow rate at the outlet boundary (valve) is reduced. During this transition, the amplitude of pressure and flow rate fluctuations greatly increase until they reach a repeating cyclic structure characteristic of deep surge. During the deep surge portion of the prediction, pressure fluctuations are compared with measurements at the corresponding compressor inlet and outlet transducer locations, where the amplitudes and frequencies exhibit excellent agreement. The predicted flow field throughout the compression system is studied in detail during operation in deep surge, in order to characterize the unsteady and highly 3D structures present within the impeller, diffuser, and compressor inlet duct. Key observations include a core flow region near the axis of the inlet duct, where the flow remains in the forward direction throughout the deep surge cycle. The dominant noise generation occurs at the fundamental surge frequency, which is near the Helmholtz resonance of the compression system, along with harmonics at integer multiples of this fundamental frequency.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2019;141(6):061004-061004-10. doi:10.1115/1.4042334.

In order to investigate the performance and emissions behavior of a high compression ratio compression ignition (CI) engine operating in partially premixed charge compression ignition (PPCI) mode, a series of experiments were conducted using a single-cylinder engine with a high-pressure rail fuel injection system. This included a moderately advanced direct injection strategy to attempt PPCI combustion under low load conditions by varying the injection timing between 25 deg and 35 deg before top dead center (BTDC) in steps of 2.5 deg. Furthermore, during experimentation the fuel injection pressure, engine speed, and engine torque were kept constant. Performance parameters and emissions were measured and analyzed using a zero-dimensional heat release model. Compared to the baseline conventional 12.5 deg BTDC injection, in-cylinder pressure and temperature were higher at advanced timings for all load conditions considered. Additionally, NOx, PM, CO, and total hydrocarbon (THC) were higher than conventional results at the 0.5 N·m load condition. While PM emissions were lower, and CO and THC emissions were comparable to conventional injection results at the 1.5 N·m load condition between 25 deg and 30 deg BTDC, NOx emissions were relatively high. Hence, there was limited success in beating the NOx-PM trade-off. Moreover, since the start of combustion (SOC) occurred BTDC, the resulting higher peak combustion pressures restricted the operating condition to lower loads. As a result, further investigation including exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and/or variance in fuel cetane number (CN) is required to achieve PPCI in a high compression ratio CI engine.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2019;141(6):061005-061005-13. doi:10.1115/1.4042089.

Jet in a cross-flow (JICF) is a flow arrangement found in many engineering applications, especially in gas turbine air–fuel mixing. Understanding of scalar mixing in JICF is important for low NOx burner design and operation, and numerical simulation techniques can be used to understand both spatial and temporal variation of air–fuel mixing quality in such applications. In this paper, mixing of the jet stream with the cross-flow is simulated by approximating the jet flow as a passive scalar and using the large eddy simulation (LES) technique to simulate the turbulent velocity field. A posteriori test is conducted to assess three dynamic subgrid scale models in modeling jet and cross-flow interaction with the boundary layer flow field. Simulated mean and Reynolds stress component values for velocity field and concentration fields are compared against experimental data to assess the capability of the LES technique, which showed good agreement between numerical and experimental results. Similarly, time mean and standard deviation values of passive scalar concentration also showed good agreement with experimental data. In addition, LES results are further used to discuss the scalar mixing field in the downstream mixing region.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2019;141(6):061006-061006-13. doi:10.1115/1.4042079.

As-manufactured rotors behave quite differently than nominal as-designed rotors due to small geometric and material property deviations in the rotor, referred to as mistuning. The mistuning of a 20 bladed, integrally bladed rotor (IBR) will be evaluated via analytical methods, benchtop testing, and using a rotating compressor research facility. Analytical methods consist of the development of an as-manufactured model based on geometry measurements from a high fidelity optical scanning system. Benchtop testing of the IBR is done using a traveling wave excitation (TWE) system that simulates engine order excitation in stationary bladed disks for the purpose of determining potentially high responding blades due to mistuning. The compressor research facility utilizes blade tip timing to measure the blade vibration of the IBR. The resonant response of the IBR at various modes and harmonic excitations is investigated. A comprehensive mistuning and force amplification comparison between the as-manufactured model, TWE, and the compressor rig is performed. Mistuning of each method is evaluated using three different methods. First, the tuned absorber factor (TAF), which is a metric to determine potential high responding blades, is determined for each system. Next, mistuning is analyzed by isolating individual blades both experimentally on the bench and analytically to determine the mistuning patterns. Lastly, the mistuning determined by each system will be evaluated using a reduced-order model, namely the fundamental mistuning model identification (FMM ID). It will be shown that TAF shows variability between each method providing indications TAF may not be the best approach of force amplification predictions. Basic mistuning agreements exist when isolating blades both experimentally and analytically exhibiting as-manufactured models are capable of representing full experiments. System ID methods provide a basic agreement between both the mistuning pattern and the mistuning amplification for all three methods analyzed. This ultimately shows the importance and the ability to use as-manufactured models to help increase detailed understanding of IBR's.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2019;141(6):061007-061007-11. doi:10.1115/1.4042024.

A successful ignition in an annular multi-injector combustor follows a sequence of steps. The first injector is ignited; two arch-shaped flame branches nearly perpendicular to the combustor backplane form; they propagate, igniting each injection unit; they merge. In this paper, characterization of the propagation phase is performed in an annular combustor with spray flames fed with liquid n-hepane. The velocity and the direction of the arch-like flame branch are investigated. Near the backplane, the flame is moving in a purely azimuthal direction. Higher up in the chamber, it is also moving in the axial direction due to the volumetric expansion of the burnt gases. Time-resolved particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements are used to investigate the evaporating fuel droplets dynamics. A new result is that, during the light-round, the incoming flame front pushes the fuel droplets in the azimuthal direction well before its leading point. This leads to a decrease in the local droplet concentration and local mixture composition over not yet lit injectors. For the first time, the behavior of an individual injector ignited by the passing flame front is examined. The swirling flame structure formed by each injection unit evolves in time. From the ignition of an individual injector to the stabilization of its flame in its final shape, approximately 50 ms elapse. After the passage of the traveling flame, the newly ignited flame flashbacks into the injector during a few milliseconds, for example, 5 ms for the conditions that are tested. This could be detrimental to the service life of the unit. Then, the flame exits from the injection unit, and its external branch detaches under the action of cooled burnt gases in the outer recirculation zone (ORZ).

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2019;141(6):061008-061008-10. doi:10.1115/1.4041962.

In this paper, an artificial neural network (ANN) is introduced in order to detect the occurrence of misfire in an internal combustion (IC) engine by analyzing the crankshaft angular velocity. This study presents three reliable misfire detection procedures. In the first two methods, the fault features are extracted using both time domain and frequency domain techniques, and a multilayer perceptron (MLP) serves as the pattern recognition tool for detecting the misfiring cylinder. In the third method, a one-dimensional (1D) convolutional neural network (CNN) that combines feature extraction capability and pattern recognition is adopted for misfire detection. The experimental data are obtained by setting a six in-line diesel engine with different cylinder misfiring to work under representative operating conditions. Finally, all three diagnostic methods achieved satisfactory results, and the 1D CNN achieved the best performance. The current study provides a novel way to detect misfiring in IC engines.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2019;141(6):062501-062501-12. doi:10.1115/1.4042285.

This paper presents the dynamic analysis of rotating structures using node-dependent kinematics (NDK) one-dimensional (1D) elements. These elements have the capabilities to assume a different kinematic at each node of a beam element, that is, the kinematic assumptions can be continuously varied along the beam axis. Node-dependent kinematic 1D elements have been extended to the dynamic analysis of rotors where the response of the slender shaft, as well as the responses of disks, has to be evaluated. Node dependent kinematic capabilities have been exploited to impose simple kinematic assumptions along the shaft and refined kinematic models where the in- and out-of-plane deformations appear, that is, on the disks. The governing equations of the rotordynamics problem have been derived in a unified and compact form using the Carrera unified formulation. Refined beam models based on Taylor and Lagrange expansions (LEs) have been considered. Single- and multiple-disk rotors have been investigated. The effects of flexible supports have also been included. The results show that the use of the node-dependent kinematic elements allows the accuracy of the model to be increased only where it is required. This approach leads to a reduction of the computational cost compared to a three-dimensional model while the accuracy of the results is preserved.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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