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

Laboratory Studies of the Flow Field Characteristics of Low-Swirl Injectors for Adaptation to Fuel-Flexible Turbines

[+] Author and Article Information
R. K. Cheng, D. Littlejohn

Environmental Energy Technologies Division,  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720

W. A. Nazeer, K. O. Smith

 Solar Turbines Incorporated, 2200 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 130(2), 021501 (Jan 22, 2008) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2795786 History: Received April 25, 2007; Revised September 06, 2007; Published January 22, 2008

The low-swirl injector (LSI) is a simple and cost-effective lean premixed combustion method for natural-gas turbines to achieve ultralow emissions (<5 ppm NOx and CO) without invoking tight control of mixture stoichiometry, elaborate active tip cooling, or costly materials and catalysts. To gain an understanding of how this flame stabilization mechanism remains robust throughout a large range of Reynolds numbers, laboratory experiments were performed to characterize the flowfield of natural-gas flames at simulated partial load conditions. Also studied was a flame using simulated landfill gas of 50% natural gas and 50% CO2 . Using particle image velocimetry, the nonreacting and reacting flowfields were measured at five bulk flow velocities. The results show that the LSI flowfield exhibits similarity features. From the velocity data, an analytical expression for the flame position as function of the flowfield characteristics and turbulent flame speed has been deduced. It shows that the similarity feature coupled with a linear dependency of the turbulent flame speed with bulk flow velocity enables the flame to remain relatively stationary throughout the load range. This expression can be the basis for an analytical model for designing LSIs that operate on alternate gaseous fuels such as slower burning biomass gases or faster burning coal-based syngases.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

LSI produces a freely propgating lited flame

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Figure 2

Schematics and top view of a laboratory LSI

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Figure 3

Emissions of LSI and HIS from rig tests at partial and full load gas turbine conditions

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Figure 4

Schematics of the LSI setup

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Figure 5

Normalized mean velocity vectors and normalized shear stress for (a) Flow 1, (b) Flow 5, (c) Flame 1 and (d) Flame 6

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Figure 6

Axial profiles of the nonreaction flows

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Figure 7

Axial profiles of the reacting flows

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Figure 8

Turbulent flame speed correlation

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Figure 9

Definition of virtual origin x0

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Figure 10

Virtual origin x0 and axial stretch rate ax deduced from the axial velocity profiles

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Figure 11

Normalized nonreacting flow profiles shifted by x0

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Figure 12

Axial reacting flow profiles shifted by x0

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Figure 13

Nonreacting radial profiles at x=20mm

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Figure 14

Reacting radial profiles at x=20mm

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Figure 15

Axial profiles of Flames 1 and 6

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Figure 16

Flame positions estimated for a range of SL using the empirical parameters from experimental measurements



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