RESEARCH PAPERS: Gas Turbines: Aircraft

Wave Cycle Design for Wave Rotor Gas Turbine Engines With Low NOx Emissions

[+] Author and Article Information
M. R. Nalim

CFD Research Corporation, Huntsville, AL 35805

E. L. Resler

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 118(3), 474-480 (Jul 01, 1996) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2816670 History: Received March 02, 1995; Online November 19, 2007


The wave rotor is a promising means of pressure-gain for gas turbine engines. This paper examines novel wave rotor topping cycles that incorporate low-NOx combustion strategies. This approach combines two-stage “rich-quench-lean” (RQL) combustion with intermediate expansion in the wave rotor to extract energy and reduce the peak stoichiometric temperature substantially. The thermodynamic cycle is a type of reheat cycle, with the rich-zone air undergoing a high-pressure stage. Rich-stage combustion could occur external to or within the wave rotor. An approximate analytical design method and CFD/combustion codes are used to develop and simulate wave rotor flow cycles. Engine cycles designed with a bypass turbine and external combustion demonstrate a performance enhancement equivalent to a 200–400 R (110–220 K) increase in turbine inlet temperature. The stoichiometric combustion temperature is reduced by 300–450 R (170–250 K) relative to an equivalent simple cycle, implying substantially reduced NOx formation.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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