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

Predicting Flameholding for Hydrogen and Natural Gas Flames at Gas Turbine Premixer Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Elliot Sullivan-Lewis

UCI Combustion Laboratory,
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697
e-mail: esl@ucicl.uci.edu

Vincent McDonell

UCI Combustion Laboratory,
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697
e-mail: mcdonell@ucicl.uci.edu

Contributed by the Combustion and Fuels Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received June 11, 2016; final manuscript received June 14, 2016; published online August 2, 2016. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 138(12), 121502 (Aug 02, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: GTP-16-1212; doi: 10.1115/1.4034000 History: Received June 11, 2016; Revised June 14, 2016

Lean-premixed gas turbines are now common devices for low emissions stationary power generation. By creating a homogeneous mixture of fuel and air upstream of the combustion chamber, temperature variations are reduced within the combustor, which reduces emissions of nitrogen oxides. However, by premixing fuel and air, a potentially flammable mixture is established in a part of the engine not designed to contain a flame. If the flame propagates upstream from the combustor (flashback), significant engine damage can result. While significant effort has been put into developing flashback resistant combustors, these combustors are only capable of preventing flashback during steady operation of the engine. Transient events (e.g., auto-ignition within the premixer and pressure spikes during ignition) can trigger flashback that cannot be prevented with even the best combustor design. In these cases, preventing engine damage requires designing premixers that will not allow a flame to be sustained. Experimental studies were conducted to determine under what conditions premixed flames of hydrogen and natural gas can be anchored in a simulated gas turbine premixer. Tests have been conducted at pressures up to 9 atm, temperatures up to 750 K, and freestream velocities between 20 and 100 m/s. Flames were anchored in the wakes of features typical of premixer passageways, including cylinders, steps, and airfoils. The results of this study have been used to develop an engineering tool that predicts under what conditions a flame will anchor, and can be used for development of flame anchoring resistant gas turbine premixers.

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Fig. 1

Flameholder test stand in the UC Irvine high-pressure combustion facility

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Fig. 2

Cross section of flameholding test section projected onto renderings of production premixer passageways

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Fig. 3

UC Irvine combustion lab flameholding apparatus

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Fig. 4

Four test features constructed for this experiment

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Fig. 5

Reynolds number distribution of reacting experiments

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Fig. 6

Schematic of LDV test points

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Fig. 7

Velocity profiles measured with LDV

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Fig. 8

Turbulence intensity profiles measured with LDV

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Fig. 9

Separated flow in the wake of the rotated airfoil

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Fig. 10

The 13 mm cylinder and rotated airfoil flame attachment width comparison

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Fig. 11

Equivalence ratio at blow off as a function of velocity

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Fig. 12

Adiabatic flame temperature at blow off as a function of velocity

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Fig. 13

Laminar flame speed as a function of velocity

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Fig. 14

Local displacement flame speed at blow off as a function of velocity

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Fig. 15

Damköhler number at blow off as function of Reynolds number

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Fig. 16

Empirical blow off correlation as a function of freestream velocity

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Fig. 17

Probability of blow off as a function of slope

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Fig. 18

Empirical blow off correlation of current study and that of Potter and Wong [18] as a function of freestream velocity



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