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

Effects of Fluid Properties on Spray Characteristics of a Flow-Blurring Atomizer

[+] Author and Article Information
Brian T. Fisher

Naval Research Laboratory,
Chemistry Division,
4555 Overlook Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20375
e-mail: brian.fisher@nrl.navy.mil

Michael R. Weismiller

Naval Research Laboratory,
4555 Overlook Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20375

Steven G. Tuttle, Katherine M. Hinnant

Naval Research Laboratory,
Chemistry Division,
4555 Overlook Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20375

1Corresponding author.

2Present address: Department of Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office, EE-3V, Room 5G-030, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585.

Contributed by the Combustion and Fuels Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 28, 2017; final manuscript received August 3, 2017; published online November 7, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 140(4), 041511 (Nov 07, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1412; doi: 10.1115/1.4038084 History: Received July 28, 2017; Revised August 03, 2017

In order to understand the reasons for the apparent benefits of using a flow-blurring (FB) atomizer in a combustion system, it is necessary to first examine fundamental spray characteristics under nonreacting conditions. Previous work on FB atomizers, however, has mostly involved only water and a relatively narrow range of parameters. In this study, a phase Doppler anemometry (PDA) instrument was used to characterize FB atomizer sprays and determine the effects of varying surface tension and viscosity of the liquid. Operating at room pressure and temperature (i.e., a “cold spray”), droplet sizes and velocities were measured for water, a water/surfactant mixture (lower surface tension), a water/glycerol mixture (higher viscosity), and glycerol (much higher viscosity). For all of the tested fluids, with the exception of pure glycerol, the FB atomizer produced small droplets (below 50 μm) whose size did not vary significantly in the radial or axial direction, particularly above a characteristic distance from the atomizer exit. Results show that the spray is essentially unaffected by a 4.5× decrease in surface tension or a 7× increase in viscosity, and that Sauter mean diameter (SMD) only increased by approximately a factor of three when substituting glycerol (750× higher viscosity) for water. The results suggest that the FB atomizer can effectively atomize a wide range of liquids, making it a useful fuel-flexible atomizer for combustion applications.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Diagram of experimental setup, including (a) a cutaway view of the spray burner and (b) details of the FB atomizer. Dimensions are given in Table 1.

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Fig. 2

Radial profiles of measured water droplet concentrations at several heights above the atomizer exit

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Fig. 3

Radial profiles of measured water droplet sizes at several heights above the atomizer exit

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Fig. 4

Radial profiles of measured water droplet velocities at several heights above the atomizer exit

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Fig. 5

Radial profiles of ratio of radial velocity (V) to axial velocity (U) for water at several heights above the atomizer exit

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Fig. 6

Radial profiles of axial turbulence intensity (top) and radial turbulence intensity (bottom) for water at several heights above the atomizer exit

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Fig. 7

Axial profile of centerline (r = 0) water droplet sizes (SMDs, D32)

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Fig. 8

Water droplet size distributions (probability density functions) at several heights along the centerline (r = 0)

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Fig. 9

Radial profiles of measured droplet sizes for water, a water/Forafac (99.9%/0.1% by weight) mixture, and a water/glycerol (50 wt % each) mixture at 40 mm and 80 mm above the atomizer exit

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Fig. 10

Radial profiles of measured droplet sizes for water and glycerol at 40 mm and 80 mm above the atomizer exit

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Fig. 11

Water and glycerol droplet size distributions (probability density functions) at the radial centerline at 40 mm and 80 mm above the atomizer exit. The top panel shows the main portions of the distributions (diameters ≤ 100 μm); the bottom panel shows the tails of the distributions (diameters ≥ 100 μm).

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Fig. 12

Radial profiles of measured droplet axial (top) and radial (bottom) velocities for water and glycerol at 40 mm and 80 mm above the atomizer exit

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Fig. 13

Radial profiles of axial turbulence intensity (top) and radial turbulence intensity (bottom) for glycerol at several heights above the atomizer exit

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Fig. 14

Axial profiles of centerline (r = 0) droplet sizes (SMDs, D32) for water, a water/glycerol (50 wt % each) mixture, and glycerol

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