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Research Papers

Fuel Variation Effects in Propagation and Stabilization of Turbulent Counter-Flow Premixed Flames

[+] Author and Article Information
Ehsan Abbasi-Atibeh

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
e-mail: ehsan.abbasi@mail.mcgill.ca

Sandeep Jella

Siemens Canada Limited,
Montreal, QC H9P 1A5, Canada;
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
e-mail: sandeep.jella@siemens.com

Jeffrey M. Bergthorson

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
e-mail: jeff.bergthorson@mcgill.ca

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 11, 2018; final manuscript received July 16, 2018; published online October 29, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(3), 031024 (Oct 29, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1481; doi: 10.1115/1.4041136 History: Received July 11, 2018; Revised July 16, 2018

Sensitivity to stretch and differential diffusion of chemical species are known to influence premixed flame propagation, even in the turbulent environment where mass diffusion can be greatly enhanced. In this context, it is convenient to characterize flames by their Lewis number (Le), a ratio of thermal-to-mass diffusion. The work reported in this paper describes a study of flame stabilization characteristics when Le is varied. The test data are comprised of Le1 (hydrogen), Le1 (methane), and Le>1 (propane) flames stabilized at various turbulence levels. The experiments were carried out in a hot exhaust opposed-flow turbulent flame rig (HOTFR), which consists of two axially opposed, symmetric jets. The stagnation plane between the two jets allows the aerodynamic stabilization of a flame and clearly identifies fuel influences on turbulent flames. Furthermore, high-speed particle image velocimetry (PIV), using oil droplet seeding, allowed simultaneous recordings of velocity (mean and rms) and flame surface position. These experiments, along with data processing tools developed through this study, illustrated that in the mixtures with Le1, turbulent flame speed increases considerably compared to the laminar flame speed due to differential diffusion effects, where higher burning rates compensate for the steepening average velocity gradient and keeps these flames almost stationary as bulk flow velocity increases. These experiments are suitable for validating the ability of turbulent combustion models to predict lifted, aerodynamically stabilized flames. In the final part of this paper, we model the three fuels at two turbulence intensities using the flamelet generated manifolds (FGM) model in a Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) context. Computations reveal that the qualitative flame stabilization trends reproduce the effects of turbulence intensity; however, more accurate predictions are required to capture the influences of fuel variations and differential diffusion.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of HOTFR, and stabilized CH4-air turbulent flames at increasing turbulence intensities

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Fig. 2

Processing techniques using PIV images: (a) a sample velocity vector field (down-sampled for clarity), (b) a sample flame-front contour, (c) Su measurement upstream of the flame front, and (d) 5 successive flame fronts centered at time ti and a schematic showing SF calculation

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Fig. 3

Borghi diagram showing turbulent premixed combustion regimes: experimental region of C3H8-air (), CH4-air (), and H2-air () flames

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Fig. 4

Computational fluid dynamics model: (a) turbulent jet, (b) lifted flame front visualized by chemical source term, and (c) temperature contours

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Fig. 5

Le influence on laminar and turbulent methane flames at ϕ=0.55: (a) SDR and (b) reaction rate

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Fig. 6

Le influence on temperature and species: laminar flames of (a) methane and (b) hydrogen

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Fig. 7

Le influence on heat release: laminar hydrogen flames

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Fig. 8

Probability density functions of instantaneous leading edge displacement velocity (ST) (left), and flame position (Zf) (right) for: ((a) and (b)) C3H8-air, ((c) and (d)) CH4-air, and ((e) and (f)) H2-air flames at increasing u′/SLo. See Table 2 for u′/SLo values.

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Fig. 9

(a) Most probable flame location (⟨Zf⟩) and (b) flame brush thickness (δT) correlations at increasing u′/SLo: C3H8-air (), CH4-air (), and H2-air () flames

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Fig. 10

Effect of strain and turbulence intensity on temperature profiles

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Fig. 11

Effect of strain on laminar chemical source of progress variable

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Fig. 12

Turbulent flame location and brush thickness

Tables

Errata

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