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Experimental Performance of a Swirl-Venturi Fuel Mixer for a Fuel Cell Reformer

[+] Author Affiliations
Robert Tacina, Yolanda R. Hicks, Robert Anderson

NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Randy J. Locke

QSS Group, Inc., Cleveland, OH

Heidi N. Robinson

University of Akron, Akron, OH

Chia Yen

University of Toledo, Cleveland, OH

Paper No. GT2006-90772, pp. 617-627; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2006: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 1: Combustion and Fuels, Education
  • Barcelona, Spain, May 8–11, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4236-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3774-2
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The objective of this work is to develop a liquid fuel injector-mixer to provide a uniform mixture of vaporized fuel, steam and air to a fuel cell reformer. This effort supports the NASA fuel cell program, which has the goal of cleaner aerospace power plants. The demonstration project is sized for a 10 kW fuel cell. The Swirl Venturi Mixer (SVM) is the fuel injector-mixer concept explored in the present study. The SVM consists of: a capillary tube to inject the fuel; a venturi tube to maximize the effective air-assist atomization of fuel injected at the throat; and a controlled expansion of radial mixing at the diffuser portion of the venturi. A swirler upstream of the venturi tube enhances turbulent mixing and improves the diffuser performance by suppressing flow separation. Variables evaluated are: swirl angle, throat diameter, throat length and diffuser length. The test section has a 76 mm diameter and includes a quartz cylinder to allow laser-based flow measurements downstream of the injector. Raman spectroscopy is used to measure chemical species distribution across the flow field while particle image velocimetry (PIV) is used to determine the field velocity profile. Test conditions consisted of an inlet air temperature of 700K, inlet steam temperature of 480K, atmospheric pressure, Jet A fuel, and mixture velocities of 1 to 3 m/s.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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