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Towards Low-NOx Operation in a Complex Burner: Optimization of an Annular Trapped Vortex Combustor

[+] Author Affiliations
Pradip Xavier, Bruno Renou, Gilles Cabot, Mourad A. Boukhalfa

INSA de Rouen - UMR6614 CORIA, Saint Etienne du Rouvray, France

Michel Cazalens

SNECMA, Moissy Cramayel, France

Paper No. GT2013-94704, pp. V01AT04A051; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2013: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 1A: Combustion, Fuels and Emissions
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, June 3–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5510-2
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


This paper focuses on optimizing an innovative annular Lean Premixed staged burner, following the Trapped Vortex Combustor concept. The latter consists of a lean main flame stabilized by passing past a rich cavity pilot flame. Unfortunately, this configuration is highly sensitive to combustion instabilities and the flame is not well stabilized. This work consists of adjusting aerodynamic variables, chemical parameters and burner geometry to reach a “low-NOx” operation while reducing other pollutants and getting a stable flame. Results show that stability is reached when mass transfers between main and cavity zones are reduced. Then, the main bulk velocity is increased to reduce the cavity thermal expansion, due to the hot gas expansion. In addition, the cavity flow rate is reduced to prevent from penetrating and disturbing the main flow. Re-arranging injections in the cavity also avoid local unsteady equivalence ratios, which creates an unsteady heat release and combustion with pulses. Regarding NOx, a leaner main flame combined with a sufficiently rich cavity mixture creates local stoichiometric zones at the interface between the cavity and the main zone. The latter point is found to be a good anchoring mechanism. Compared with the original configuration, a stable point of operation is found: acoustic energy is reduced by an order of 100, NOx level is less than 0.4 g/kgfuel, CO is cut by 93% with no more Unburned Hydro-Carbons.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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