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

Application of a Turbulent Jet Flame Flashback Propensity Model to a Commercial Gas Turbine Combustor

[+] 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

Contributed by the Combustion and Fuels Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 29, 2016; final manuscript received August 12, 2016; published online October 26, 2016. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 139(4), 041506 (Oct 26, 2016) (8 pages) Paper No: GTP-16-1373; doi: 10.1115/1.4034649 History: Received July 29, 2016; Revised August 12, 2016

Because flashback is a key operability issue associated with low emission combustion of high hydrogen content fuels, design tools to predict flashback propensity are of interest. Such a design tool has been developed by the authors to predict boundary layer flashback using nondimensional parameters. The tool accounts for the thermal coupling between the flame and burner rim and was derived using detailed studies carried out in a test rig at elevated temperature and pressure. The present work evaluates the applicability of the model to a commercial 65 kW microturbine generator (MTG). Two sets of data are evaluated. One set is obtained using the combustor, removed from the engine, which has been configured to operate like it does in the engine but at atmospheric pressure and various preheat temperatures. The second set of data is from a combustor operated as it normally would in the commercial engine. In both configurations, studies are carried out with various amounts of hydrogen added to either natural gas or carbon monoxide. The previously developed model is able to capture the measured flashback tendencies in both configurations. In addition, the model is used to interpret flashback phenomena at high pressures and temperatures in the context of the engine conditions. An increase in pressure for a given preheat temperature and velocity reduces the equivalence ratio at which flashback occurs and increases the tip temperature due to lower quenching distance. The dependency of the flashback propensity on the injector tip temperature is enhanced with an increase in pressure. The variation of critical velocity gradient with equivalence ratio for a constant preheat temperature is more pronounced at higher pressures. In summary, the model developed using the high-pressure test rig is able to predict flashback tendencies for a commercial gas turbine engine and can thus serve as an effective design tool for identifying when flashback is likely to occur for a given geometry and condition.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of mixing and combustor test sections

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Fig. 2

Schematic of Capstone C-60 microturbine combustor

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Fig. 3

(a) Plane A with two injectors and (b) plane B with four injectors

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Fig. 4

Factory built injector used in the combustor

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Fig. 6

Variation of equivalence ratio with hydrogen concentration in H2/CO mixture

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Fig. 7

Variation of equivalence ratio with hydrogen concentration in H2/NG mixture

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Fig. 8

Critical velocity gradient as a function of adiabatic flame temperature

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Fig. 9

Critical velocity gradient as a function of laminar flame speed

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Fig. 10

Critical velocity gradient variation as a function of SL2/α

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Fig. 11

Application of Eq. (1) to atmospheric combustor data (previous data shown for reference)

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Fig. 12

Application of Eq. (1) to engine data (previous data shown for reference)

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Fig. 13

Variation of tip temperature with equivalence ratio at different preheat temperatures and pressures (experimental data)

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Fig. 14

Critical velocity gradient variation as a function of tip temperature at different pressures (correlation)

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Fig. 15

Critical velocity gradient variation as a function of equivalence ratio at different pressures (experimental data)

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Fig. 16

Percent uncertainty of the correlation as a function of bulk velocity at flashback

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