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Preheat Limits in Practical Combustor Design: Experiments and Simulations

[+] Author Affiliations
Aleksandr Fridlyand, Brian Sutherland, Paul Glanville

Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, IL

Paper No. IMECE2018-88111, pp. V08AT10A014; 9 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 8A: Heat Transfer and Thermal Engineering
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5211-8
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Autoignition in commercial and residential gas appliances is typically a phenomenon to be avoided. The autoignition temperature for a particular fuel, defined as the minimum temperature at which spontaneous ignition will occur without an external source of energy, is often used to characterize this phenomenon. In the design of combustion systems, it is used to demarcate conditions where autoignition may occur. In an emerging class of residential and commercial heating, cooling, and power generation appliances, preheating air and fuel can provide an effective means of boosting the overall energy efficiency by recuperating residual energy in the exhaust and reinvesting it back into the thermodynamic process. In such applications, the design question to answer is: How much can the air and fuel be preheated without autoignition? The autoignition temperature, often determined experimentally and can vary as much as 100°C for methane, may not be the most useful metric in this context. This work describes the results of a recent experimental investigation into the preheat limits for autoignition of air and natural gas with the aim of recuperating as much heat as possible in a heat pump. The experimental apparatus consisted of an air-fuel mixer supplying preheated mixture to a radiant burner. The air was first heated in excess of 750°C, cool natural gas was injected into and mixed with the hot-air stream, and all while avoiding autoignition. The current capability to predict autoignition in such applications a priori was also assessed using available chemical kinetic models and numerical simulations.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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