RESEARCH PAPERS: Gas Turbines: Combustion and Fuels

Active Control of Combustion for Optimal Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
M. D. Jackson, A. K. Agrawal

Gas Turbine Systems Laboratory, School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 121(3), 437-443 (Jul 01, 1999) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2818492 History: Received March 31, 1998; Revised March 23, 1999; Online December 03, 2007


Combustion-zone stoichiometry and fuel-air premixing were actively controlled to optimize the combustor performance over a range of operating conditions. The objective was to maximize the combustion temperature, while maintaining NOx within a specified limit. The combustion system consisted of a premixer located coaxially near the inlet of a water-cooled shroud. The equivalence ratio was controlled by a variable-speed suction fan located downstream. The split between the premixing air and diffusion air was governed by the distance between the premixer and shroud. The combustor performance was characterized by a cost function evaluated from time-averaged measurements of NOx and oxygen concentrations in products. The cost function was minimized by the downhill simplex algorithm employing closed-loop feedback. Experiments were conducted at different fuel flow rates to demonstrate that the controller optimized the performance without prior knowledge of the combustor behavior.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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