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

Experimental Investigations of Spark Ignition in a Model Combustor With Synthesis Gas

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiaoyu Zhang, Di Zhong, Fanglong Weng

Key Laboratory for Thermal Science
and Power Engineering,
Department of Thermal Engineering,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China

Min Zhu

Key Laboratory for Thermal Science
and Power Engineering,
Department of Thermal Engineering,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China
e-mail: zhumin@tsinghua.edu.cn

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 24, 2014; final manuscript received August 12, 2014; published online November 25, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 137(5), 051502 (May 01, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: GTP-14-1431; doi: 10.1115/1.4028666 History: Received July 24, 2014; Revised August 12, 2014; Online November 25, 2014

The components of syngas derived from coal, biomass, and waste are significantly different from those of typical gas turbine fuels, such as natural gas and fuel oils. The variations of hydrogen and inert gases can modify both the fluid and the combustion dynamics in the combustor. In particular, the characteristics of spark ignition can be profoundly affected. To understand the correlation between the varying fuel components and the reliability of ignition, a test system for spark ignition was established. The model combustor with a partial-premixed swirl burner was employed. The blending fuel with five components, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, was used to model the synthesis gas used in industry. The ignition energy and the number of sparks leading to successful ignition were recorded. By varying the fuel components, the synthesis gases altered from medium to lower heat value fuels. The ignition time, ignition limit, and subsequent flame developments with variations of air mass flow rates and fuel components were systematically investigated. With the increase of airflow, the syngas with a lower hydrogen content has a shorter ignition time compared with higher hydrogen syngas in the lean condition, whereas in the rich condition, syngas with a higher hydrogen content has a shorter ignition time. The effects of the hydrogen content, inlet air Reynolds number and spark energy on the ignition limit were investigated. The ignition limit was enlarged with the increase in the hydrogen content and the spark energy. Meanwhile, three distinct flame patterns after ignition were investigated. Finally, a map for the characteristics of the ignition and subsequent flame development was obtained. The results are expected to provide valuable information for the design and operation of stable syngas combustion systems and also provide experimental data for the validations of theoretical modeling and numerical computations.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the experimental apparatus

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the swirler burner

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Fig. 14

Effects of the hydrogen content on the lean ignition limit

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Fig. 13

Ignition limit and lean flammability limit for fuel No. 1

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Fig. 12

Syngas fuel ignition limits with the variation of hydrogen volume content

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Fig. 11

Ignition time varying with the equivalence ratio at an air flow of 19.56 g/s

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Fig. 10

Ignition time varying with the equivalence ratio at an air flow of 9.51 g/s

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Fig. 9

Derivatives of combustor pressure and heat release rate and combustor pressure with time at an air mass flow of 19.56 g/s and an equivalence ratio of 1 for fuel No. 4

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Fig. 8

Flame propagation in a successful ignition event, at an air flow of 9.51 g/s and an equivalence ratio of 1 for fuel No. 4

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Fig. 7

Flame propagation in a successful ignition event, at an air flow of 9.51 g/s and an equivalence ratio of 1 for fuel No. 1

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Fig. 6

The normalized temperature variation at different equivalence ratios

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Fig. 5

Flame propagation captured by high speed camera at an air flow rate of 19.56 g/s and an equivalence ratio 1

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Fig. 4

Ignition time in a successful ignition

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Fig. 3

Measured inlet and combustor pressure with time in a successful ignition

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Fig. 15

Effects of the inlet air Reynolds number on the lean ignition limit

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Fig. 16

Flame images captured by digital video with different equivalence ratios at the critical Reynolds number for fuel No. 4

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Fig. 17

Flame images captured by high speed camera in an oscillation cycle at Reynolds number and an equivalence ratio of 1 for fuel No. 4

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Fig. 18

Effects of the inlet air Reynolds number on the rich ignition limit

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Fig. 19

Effects of the spark energy on the lean ignition limit for fuel No. 2

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Fig. 20

Derivatives of the combustor pressure for unstable flames for fuel No. 3 with an air flow of 19.56 g/s and an equivalence ratio of 0.5

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Fig. 21

Derivatives of the combustor pressure for stable flames for fuel No. 3 with an air flow of 19.56 g/s and an equivalence ratio of 0.54

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Fig. 22

Derivatives of the combustor pressure for oscillated flames for fuel No. 3 with an air flow of 19.56 g/s and an equivalence ratio of 1.0

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Fig. 23

Flame images captured by digital video for fuel No. 3 with an air flow of 19.56 g/s

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Fig. 24

The flame characteristics map as a function of the hydrogen content and equivalence ratio

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