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Considerations on the Numerical Modelling and Performance of Axial Swirlers Under Relight Conditions

[+] Author Affiliations
Charlie Koupper, Nicholas Grech, Pavlos K. Zachos, Vassilios Pachidis, Riti Singh

Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, UK

Paper No. GT2012-68416, pp. 65-77; 13 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2012: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Cycle Innovations; Education; Electric Power; Fans and Blowers; Industrial and Cogeneration
  • Copenhagen, Denmark, June 11–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4469-4
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Numerical modelling of aero engine combustors under relight conditions is a matter of continuously increasing importance due to the demanding engine certification regulations. In order to reduce the complexity and the cost of the numerical modelling, common practice is to replace the atomizer’s swirlers with velocity profiles boundary conditions, very often scaled down from nominal operating conditions assuming similarity of the swirler flowfield. The current numerical study focuses on the flowfield characteristics of an axially swirled atomizer operating within a windmilling engine environment. The scalability of the velocity profile from higher power settings is examined. Observations on the performance of the axial swirler under relight conditions are also made.

Experimental data was used as a validation platform for the numerical solver, after a grid sensitivity study and a turbulence model selection process. Boundary conditions for simulating the windmilling environment were extracted from experimental work.

The swirler axial and tangential velocity profiles were normalised using the swirler inlet velocity. Results showed that both profiles are only scalable for windmilling conditions of high flight Mach number (≥ 0.5). At low flight Mach numbers, the actual profile had a lower velocity than that predicted through scaling. The swirl number was found to deteriorate significantly with the flight velocity following a linear trend, reducing significantly the expected flame quality. As a consequence the burner is forced to operate at the edge of its stability loop with low certainty regarding its successful relight.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Modeling



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