Technical Briefs

Low NOx Advanced Vortex Combustor

[+] Author and Article Information
Ryan G. Edmonds1

 Ramgen Power Systems, Inc., Bellevue, WA 98005redmonds@ramgen.com

Joseph T. Williams

 Ramgen Power Systems, Inc., Bellevue, WA 98005

Robert C. Steele

 Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA 94303

Douglas L. Straub, Kent H. Casleton

 National Energy Technology Laboratory, Morgantown, WV 26507

Avtar Bining

 California Energy Commission, Sacramento, CA 95814


Corresponding author.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 130(3), 034502 (Apr 03, 2008) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2838992 History: Received June 26, 2007; Revised July 19, 2007; Published April 03, 2008

A lean-premixed advanced vortex combustor (AVC) has been developed and tested. The natural gas fueled AVC was tested at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, WV. All testing was performed at elevated pressures and inlet temperatures and at lean fuel-air ratios representative of industrial gas turbines. The improved AVC design exhibited simultaneous NOxCO∕unburned hydrocarbon (UHC) emissions of 440ppmv (all emissions corrected to 15% O2 dry). The design also achieved less than 3ppmvNOx with combustion efficiencies in excess of 99.5%. The design demonstrated marked acoustic dynamic stability over a wide range of operating conditions, which potentially makes this approach significantly more attractive than other lean-premixed combustion approaches. In addition, the measured 1.75% pressure drop is significantly lower than conventional gas turbine combustors, which could translate into an overall gas turbine cycle efficiency improvement. The relatively high velocities and low pressure drop achievable with this technology make the AVC approach an attractive alternative for syngas fuel applications.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

AVC hardware layout

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Figure 2

Effect of cavity equivalence ratio on NOx emissions. Note: Fuel setting 3 is the leanest cavity operating condition.

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Figure 3

Effect of cavity equivalence ratio on the CO–NOx curve. Note: Fuel setting 2 is the leanest cavity operating point for both velocity conditions.

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Figure 4

Combustion efficiency at the highest bulk velocity. Note: Fuel setting 2 is the leanest cavity operating condition.

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Figure 5

CO and rms pressure as a function of NOx

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Figure 6

Combustor pressure drop measurements at two reference velocity conditions

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Figure 7

Comparison of emissions from Phases 1 and 2



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