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Actuation Studies for Active Control of Mild Combustion for Gas Turbine Application

[+] Author Affiliations
Emilien Varea, Stephan Kruse, Heinz Pitsch, Thivaharan Albin, Dirk Abel

RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany

Paper No. GT2014-27138, pp. V04BT04A056; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2014: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 4B: Combustion, Fuels and Emissions
  • Düsseldorf, Germany, June 16–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4569-1
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


MILD combustion (Moderate or Intense Low Oxygen Dilution) is a well known technique that can substantially reduce high temperature regions in burners and thereby reduce thermal NOx emissions. This technology has been successfully applied to conventional furnace systems and seems to be an auspicious concept for reducing NOx and CO emissions in stationary gas turbines. To achieve a flameless combustion regime, fast mixing of recirculated burnt gases with fresh air and fuel in the combustion chamber is needed. In the present study, the combustor concept is based on the reverse flow configuration with two concentrically arranged nozzles for fuel and air injections. The present work deals with the active control of MILD combustion for gas turbine applications. For this purpose, a new concept of air flow rate pulsation is introduced. The pulsating unit offers the possibility to vary the inlet pressure conditions with a high degree of freedom: amplitude, frequency and waveform. The influence of air flow pulsation on MILD combustion is analyzed in terms of NOx and CO emissions. Results under atmospheric pressure show a drastic decrease of NOx emissions, up to 55%, when the pulsating unit is active. CO emissions are maintained at a very low level so that flame extinction is not observed. To get more insights into the effects of pulsation on combustion characteristics, velocity fields in cold flow conditions are investigated. Results show a large radial transfer of flow when pulsation is activated, hence enhancing the mixing process. The flame behavior is analyzed by using OH* chemiluminescence. Images show a larger distributed reaction region over the combustion chamber for pulsation conditions, confirming the hypothesis of a better mixing between fresh and burnt gases.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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