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

Flashback Propensity of Turbulent Hydrogen–Air Jet Flames at Gas Turbine Premixer Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Alireza Kalantari

UCI Combustion Laboratory,
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697-3550
e-mail: ak@ucicl.uci.edu

Elliot Sullivan-Lewis

UCI Combustion Laboratory,
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697-3550
e-mail: esl@ucicl.uci.edu

Vincent McDonell

UCI Combustion Laboratory,
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697-3550
e-mail: mcdonell@ucicl.uci.edu

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 September 4, 2015; final manuscript received September 18, 2015; published online November 17, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Joseph Zelina.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 138(6), 061506 (Nov 17, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: GTP-15-1439; doi: 10.1115/1.4031761 History: Received September 04, 2015; Revised September 18, 2015

The flashback propensity of a premixed jet flame has been studied experimentally. Boundary layer flashback has been investigated under turbulent flow conditions at elevated pressures and temperatures (i.e., 3–8 atm and 300–500 K). The data presented in this study are for hydrogen fuel at various Reynolds numbers, which are representative of practical gas turbine premixer conditions, and are significantly higher than results currently available in the literature. Three burner heads constructed of different materials (stainless steel, copper, and zirconia ceramic) were used to evaluate the effect of tip temperature, a parameter found previously to be an important factor in triggering flashback. This study characterizes flashback systematically by developing a comprehensive nondimensional model which takes into account all effective parameters in boundary layer flashback propensity. The model was optimized for new data and captures the behavior of the new results well. Further, comparison of the model with the single existing study of high-pressure jet flame flashback also indicates good agreement. For a given equivalence ratio, the critical velocity gradient and bulk velocity at flashback vary exponentially with pressure. The pressure exponent of the critical velocity gradient was found to be close to 1.1 at fuel-lean conditions and becomes higher as equivalence ratio is increased. The developed dimensionless correlation is Da=Const·Le1.68·Pef1.91·(Tu/T0)2.57·(Ttip/To)0.49·(Pu/P0)2.1, which can be used to predict the boundary layer flashback propensity for given parameters.

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Fig. 1

(a) High pressure and temperature facility and (b) schematic of high-pressure rig

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Fig. 2

(a) Cross section of mixing and combustor test sections and (b) burner head

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Fig. 3

Variation of tip temperature and equivalence ratio with time during a typical experiment

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Fig. 4

Tip temperature and pressure transducer responses as an indicator of flashback

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Fig. 5

Turbulent combustion regimes for the current experiment (phase diagram defined by Peters [42,43])

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Fig. 6

Critical velocity gradient versus equivalence ratio for all pressures, temperatures, and burner materials

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Fig. 7

Critical velocity gradient variation as a function of SL2/α for all pressures, temperatures, and burner materials

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Fig. 8

Variation of equivalence ratio as a function of pressure for the stainless steel burner head

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Fig. 9

Predicted Damköhler number based on the correlation

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Fig. 10

Critical velocity gradient as a function of pressure

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Fig. 11

Flashback velocity as a function of pressure



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