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Numerical and Experimental Investigation of a Micromix Combustor for a Hydrogen Fuelled µ-Scale Gas Turbine

[+] Author Affiliations
A. E. Robinson, H. H.-W. Funke

Aachen University of Applied Sciences (ACUAS), Aachen, Germany

R. Wagemakers, J. Grossen, W. Bosschaerts

Royal Military School (RMS), Brussels, Belgium

P. Hendrick

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium

Paper No. GT2009-60061, pp. 253-261; 9 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2009: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 5: Microturbines and Small Turbomachinery; Oil and Gas Applications
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, June 8–12, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4886-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3849-5
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


This last decade has shown an increased interest in the downsizing of gas turbines to micro-scale. Their potential for high energy density makes them extremely attractive for small scale high power units as alternative to traditional unwieldy accumulators or as thrust systems in small robots and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Beneath great challenges with the rotating parts at this small scale, another crucial item is in fact the combustion chamber needed for a safe and reliable operation. This paper presents a study to an alternative approach in μ-scale hydrogen combustion. The burning principle is based upon the so-called inverse micromix injection. In this non-premixed design, hydrogen fuel is introduced through a porous metal and injected in the axial direction into the combustion chamber. A CFD-model has been implemented to parameterise the different geometrical aspects of the combustion chamber and is set up as a 2D axis-symmetric model to allow for a rapid optimisation of the parameters. The flow calculations are done with a commercial CFD-software. The final optimised geometry showed stable combustion, a well suited temperature profile and acceptable wall temperatures. An overview on the influence of the critical design parameters for the different geometries is presented. Experimental investigations comprise a set of mass flow variations coupled with a variation of the equivalence ratio for each mass flow but always at ambient pressure conditions. With the data obtained by an exhaust gas analysis, a full characterisation concerning combustion efficiency and stability of the burning principle is possible. Combined with the wall temperature measurements, these results lead to a further validation of the CFD model.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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