Research Papers

On the Influence of Fuel Stratification and Its Control on the Efficiency of the Shockless Explosion Combustion Cycle

[+] Author and Article Information
Tim S. Rähse

Chair of Unsteady Thermodynamics in Gas
Turbine Processes,
Institute of Fluid Dynamics and
Technical Acoustics,
Technische Universität Berlin,
Müller-Breslau-Str. 8,
Berlin 10623, Germany

Panagiotis Stathopoulos

Chair of Unsteady Thermodynamics in Gas
Turbine Processes,
Institute of Fluid Dynamics and
Technical Acoustics,
Technische Universität Berlin,
Müller-Breslau-Str. 8,
Berlin 10623, Germany
e-mail: stathopoulos@tu-berlin.de

Jan-Simon Schäpel, Florian Arnold, Rudibert King

Chair of Measurement and Control,
Department of Process Engineering,
Technische Universität Berlin,
Hardenbergstr. 36a,
Berlin 10623, Germany

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 13, 2018; final manuscript received August 20, 2018; published online October 15, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(1), 011024 (Oct 15, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1490; doi: 10.1115/1.4041387 History: Received July 13, 2018; Revised August 20, 2018

Constant volume combustion (CVC) cycles for gas turbines are considered a very promising alternative to the conventional Joule cycle and its variations. The reason is the considerably higher thermal efficiency of these cycles, at least for their ideal versions. Shockless explosion combustion (SEC) is a method to approximate CVC. It is a cyclic process that consists of four stages, namely wave propagation, fuel injection, homogeneous auto-ignition, and exhaust. A pressure wave in the combustion chamber is used to realize the filling and exhaust phases. During the fuel injection stage, the equivalence ratio is controlled in such a way that the ignition delay time of the mixture matches its residence time in the chamber before auto-ignition. This means that the fuel injected first must have the longest ignition delay time, and thus forms the leanest mixture with air. By the same token, fuel injected last must form the richest mixture with air (assuming that a rich mixture leads to a small ignition delay). The total injection time is equal to the time that the wave needs to reach the open combustor end and return as a pressure wave to the closed end. Up to date, fuel stratification has been neglected in thermodynamic simulations of the SEC cycle. The current work presents its effect on the thermal efficiency of the cycle and on the exhaust conditions (pressure, temperature, and Mach number) of shockless explosion combustion chambers. This is done by integrating a fuel injection control algorithm in an existing computational fluid dynamics code. The capability of this algorithm to homogenize the auto-ignition process by improving the injection process has been demonstrated in past experimental studies of the SEC. The numerical code used for the simulation of the combustion process is based on the time-resolved 1D-Euler equations with source terms obtained from a detailed chemistry model.

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Fig. 1

Time evolution of the SEC process

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Fig. 2

x-t diagram of the SEC process

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Fig. 3

T-S diagram of ideal Joule and Humphrey cycles

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Fig. 4

Global equivalence ratio for SEC simulations

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Fig. 5

Generic turbine performance map

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Fig. 6

Timescale of one cycle with the ignition delay times relating to a certain control trajectory u¯k (olive)

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Fig. 7

Injection time as a function of the combustor operating pressure

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Fig. 8

Mean square control error for various compressor pressure ratios with respect to the cycle

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Fig. 9

Pressure, temperature, and Mach number at the combustor outlet over a complete SEC cycle

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Fig. 10

Thermal efficiency of simulations without ILC [3]

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Fig. 11

Thermal efficiency of simulations with ILC

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Fig. 12

Turbine inlet temperature of simulations without ILC [3]

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Fig. 13

Turbine inlet temperature of simulations with ILC

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Fig. 14

Turbine design pressure ratio

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Fig. 15

Cycle specific work generation in J/kgair

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Fig. 16

Mean outlet flow velocity in m/s

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Fig. 17

ΠC normalized mean outlet pressure

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Fig. 18

Air buffer mass share of total mass



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