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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Combustion, Fuels, and Emissions

Simulation of the Ignition Process in an Annular Multiple-Injector Combustor and Comparison With Experiments

[+] Author and Article Information
Maxime Philip

CNRS, UPR 288,
Laboratoire d'Energétique Moléculaire
et Macroscopique Combustion,
Ecole Centrale Paris,
Grande Voie des Vignes,
Châtenay-Malabry 92295, France
e-mail: maxime.philip@ecp.fr

Matthieu Boileau

CNRS, UPR 288,
Laboratoire d'Energétique Moléculaire
et Macroscopique Combustion,
Ecole Centrale Paris,
Grande Voie des Vignes,
Châtenay-Malabry 92295, France
e-mail: matthieu.boileau@ecp.fr

Ronan Vicquelin

CNRS, UPR 288,
Laboratoire d'Energétique Moléculaire
et Macroscopique Combustion,
Ecole Centrale Paris,
Grande Voie des Vignes,
Châtenay-Malabry 92295, France
e-mail: ronan.vicquelin@ecp.fr

Thomas Schmitt

CNRS, UPR 288,
Laboratoire d'Energétique Moléculaire
et Macroscopique Combustion,
Ecole Centrale Paris,
Grande Voie des Vignes,
Châtenay-Malabry 92295, France
e-mail: thomas.schmitt@ecp.fr

Daniel Durox

CNRS, UPR 288,
Laboratoire d'Energétique Moléculaire
et Macroscopique Combustion,
Ecole Centrale Paris,
Grande Voie des Vignes,
Châtenay-Malabry 92295, France
e-mail: daniel.durox@ecp.fr

Jean-François Bourgouin

CNRS, UPR 288,
Laboratoire d'Energétique Moléculaire
et Macroscopique Combustion,
Ecole Centrale Paris,
Grande Voie des Vignes,
Châtenay-Malabry 92295, France
e-mail: jean-francois.bourgouin@ecp.fr

Sébastien Candel

CNRS, UPR 288,
Laboratoire d'Energétique Moléculaire
et Macroscopique Combustion,
Ecole Centrale Paris,
Grande Voie des Vignes,
Châtenay-Malabry 92295, France
e-mail: sebastien.candel@ecp.fr

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Combustion and Fuels Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 11, 2014; final manuscript received July 15, 2014; published online September 30, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 137(3), 031501 (Sep 30, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: GTP-14-1375; doi: 10.1115/1.4028265 History: Received July 11, 2014; Revised July 15, 2014

Ignition is a problem of fundamental interest with critical practical implications. While there are many studies of ignition of single injector configurations, the transient ignition of a full annular combustor has not been extensively investigated, mainly because of the added geometrical complexity. The present investigation combines simulations and experiments on a complete annular combustor. The setup, developed at EMC2 (Energétique Moléculaire et Macroscopique Combustion) Laboratory (Mesa, AZ), features sixteen swirl injectors and quartz walls allowing direct visualization of the flame. High speed imaging is used to record the space time flame structure and study the dynamics of the light-round process. On the numerical side, massively parallel computations are carried out in the large eddy simulation (LES) framework using the filtered tabulated (F-TACLES) flamelet model. Comparisons are carried out at different instants during the light-round process between experimental data and results of calculations. It is found that the simulation results are in remarkable agreement with experiments provided that the thermal effects at the walls are considered. Further analysis indicate that the flame burning velocity and flame front geometry are close to those found in the experiment. This investigation confirms that the LES framework used for these calculations and the selected combustion model are adequate for such calculations but that further work is needed to show that ignition prediction can be used reliably over a range of operating parameters.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Direct view of the MICCA combustion chamber. The swirler geometry appears as an inset on the right side of this photograph.

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Fig. 2

Schematic top view of the MICCA combustor providing the position of the swirlers, pressure taps, and spark plug

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Fig. 3

Axial slice of the computational domain. The black arrow symbolizes the air coflow.

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Fig. 4

A double-sector domain and matching cylindrical mesh slice. Δx corresponds to the size of the cell.

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Fig. 5

Time evolution of the numerical integrated heat release (solid line) and the experimental integrated light intensity (symbols) normalized by their respective maximum. The light gray area corresponds to reacting material outside the chamber, producing additional light intensity in the experiment. This is illustrated in the subfigure appearing as an inset. (a) t = 10 0 ms, (b) t = 20 ms, and (c) t = 30 ms.

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Fig. 6

Three instants in the ignition sequence, respectively corresponding to t = 10 (a), 20 (b), and 30 ms (c) for the operating point #2. Left: experimental data in the form of light intensity emitted by the flame during the light-round process (plotted in false colors, yellow and black corresponding, respectively, to the highest and lowest value of light intensity). Right: computation results for the same physical time. The flame front is outlined by an isosurface of the progress variable c = 0.9, and colored by the axial velocity (light yellow: −30 m · s−1; black: +15 m · s−1). Blue isosurfaces correspond to the velocity field U = 25 m · s−1. Dashed lines represent the edges of the quartz walls. (a) t = 10 ms, (b) t = 20 ms, and (c) t = 30 ms.

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Fig. 7

Three instants of an ignition sequence, respectively 40 (a), 50 (b), and 65 ms (c). Same caption as in Fig. 6.

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Fig. 8

Flame fronts merging time as a function of the bulk velocity Ubulk. Open circle symbols (case #1), open square and open diamond symbols (case #2), and open triangle symbols (case #3) represent experimental data at three various conditions. The stars stand for the times obtained from the LES calculations, case #2 and case #3, respectively, (case #3 is not presented in this article).

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Fig. 9

Volume integral of heat release rate per sector in the H+ part of the chamber (see Fig. 2 for designation of the sectors)

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Fig. 10

Transit time of the flame fronts as a function of azimuthal angle. Circle and plus symbols represent, respectively, experimental and numerical times; black and red colors stand, respectively, for H+ and H− (see Fig. 2 for designation of the sectors).

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Fig. 11

Two pressure signals retrieved from respectively sensors P1 and P4 (see Fig. 2 for designation of the sectors). Thick solid line: LES; thin solid line: experiment.

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