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

Design of a Nonreacting Combustor Simulator With Swirl and Temperature Distortion With Experimental Validation

[+] Author and Article Information
Benjamin F. Hall

Department of Engineering Science,
University of Oxford,
Parks Road,
Oxford OX1 3PJ, UK
e-mail: Benjamin.Hall@eng.ox.ac.uk

Kam S. Chana

Department of Engineering Science,
University of Oxford,
Parks Road,
Oxford OX1 3PJ, UK
e-mail: Kam.Chana@eng.ox.ac.uk

Thomas Povey

Department of Engineering Science,
University of Oxford,
Parks Road,
Oxford OX1 3PJ, UK
e-mail: Thomas.Povey@eng.ox.ac.uk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Combustion and Fuels Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received November 25, 2013; final manuscript received January 28, 2014; published online February 28, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 136(8), 081501 (Feb 28, 2014) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-13-1430; doi: 10.1115/1.4026809 History: Received November 25, 2013; Revised January 28, 2014

Nonuniform combustor outlet flows have been demonstrated to have significant impact on the first and second stage turbine aerothermal performance. Rich-burn combustors, which generally have pronounced temperature profiles and weak swirl profiles, primarily affect the heat load in the vane but both the heat load and aerodynamics of the rotor. Lean burn combustors, in contrast, generally have a strong swirl profile which has an additional significant impact on the vane aerodynamics which should be accounted for in the design process. There has been a move towards lean burn combustor designs to reduce NOx emissions. There is also increasing interest in fully integrated design processes which consider the impact of the combustor flow on the design of the high pressure vane and rotor aerodynamics and cooling. There are a number of current large research projects in scaled (low temperature and pressure) turbine facilities which aim to provide validation data and physical understanding to support this design philosophy. There is a small body of literature devoted to rich burn combustor simulator design but no open literature on the topic of lean burn simulator design. The particular problem is that in nonreacting, highly swirling and diffusing flows, vortex instability in the form of a precessing vortex core or vortex breakdown is unlikely to be well matched to the reacting case. In reacting combustors the flow is stabilized by heat release, but in low temperature simulators other methods for stabilizing the flow must be employed. Unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes and large eddy simulation have shown promise in modeling swirling flows with unstable features. These design issues form the subject of this paper.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the OTRF without combustor simulator

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Fig. 2

Orientation of swirl and pitch angles

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Fig. 3

Pilot study (OTRF swirl simulator) swirl and pitch angle profile at inlet plane [13]

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Fig. 4

CFD (OTRF swirl simulator) swirl and pitch angle profile at inlet plane

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Fig. 5

Comparison of pilot study and CFD swirl angle at 20% and 80% span

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Fig. 6

Initial design concept: (a) 3D CAD showing multiple sectors, and (b) tetra mesh of a single sector

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Fig. 7

Second generation mesh—simplified domain hexahedral mesh

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Fig. 8

Design C2 mesh—full domain with hexahedral elements

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Fig. 9

Design A PVC (a) shown as vorticity isosurface; recirculation region (b) as isosurface of zero axial velocity

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Fig. 10

Design A: pressure distribution and velocity field (a); inlet temperature (b); and overlaid with recirculation zone (c)

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Fig. 11

Schematic illustration of precessing vortex core (PVC)

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Fig. 12

Schematic illustration of bubble vortex breakdown mode

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Fig. 13

Design B: (a) recirculation zone, (b) midplane axial velocity, (c) inlet temperature profile (offset), (d) inlet swirl angle profile

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Fig. 14

Design C1: (a) recirculation zone, (b) midplane axial velocity, (c) inlet temperature profile (offset), (d) inlet swirl angle profile

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Fig. 15

Design C1: URANS inlet profiles

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Fig. 16

Design C2 swirler with hexahedral mesh

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Fig. 17

Design C2: full domain simulation showing (a) recirculation zone, (b) midplane axial velocity, (c) inlet temperature profile (offset), (d) inlet swirl angle profile

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Fig. 18

Design C2: URANS inlet profiles

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Fig. 19

Comparison of RTDF profile for the designs B, C1, and C2

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Fig. 20

Design C2: URANS turbulence inlet profiles



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