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Shockless Explosion Combustion: Experimental Investigation of a New Approximate Constant Volume Combustion Process

[+] Author Affiliations
Thoralf G. Reichel, Bernhard C. Bobusch, Christian Oliver Paschereit, Jan-Simon Schäpel, Rudibert King

Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Rupert Klein

Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Paper No. GT2016-57680, pp. V04BT04A035; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2016: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 4B: Combustion, Fuels and Emissions
  • Seoul, South Korea, June 13–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4976-7
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Approximate constant volume combustion (aCVC) is a promising way to achieve a step change in the efficiency of gas turbines. This work investigates a recently proposed approach to implement aCVC in a gas turbine combustion system: shockless explosion combustion (SEC). The new concept overcomes several disadvantages such as sharp pressure transitions, entropy generation due to shock waves, and exergy losses due to kinetic energy which are associated with other aCVC approaches like, e.g., pulsed detonation combustion. The combustion is controlled via the the fuel/air mixture distribution which is adjusted such that the entire fuel/air volume undergoes a spatially quasi-homogeneous autoignition. Accordingly, no shock waves occur and the losses associated with a detonation wave are not present in the proposed system. Instead, a smooth pressure rise is created due to the heat release of the homogeneous combustion. An atmospheric combustion test rig is designed to investigate the autoignition behavior of relevant fuels under intermittent operation, currently up to a frequency of 2Hz. Application of OH*- and dynamic pressure sensors allows for a spatially- and time-resolved detection of ignition delay times and locations. Dimethyl ether (DME) is used as fuel since it exhibits reliable autoignition already at 920K mixture temperature and ambient pressure. First, a model-based control algorithm is used to demonstrate that the fuel valve can produce arbitrary fuel profiles in the combustion tube. Next, the control algorithm is used to achieve the desired fuel stratification, resulting in a significant reduction in spatial variance of the auto-ignition delay times. This proves that the control approach is a useful tool for increasing the homogeneity of the autoignition.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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