Experimental Investigation of Flow and Wall Heat Transfer in an Optical Combustor for Reacting Swirl Flows
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The study of flow fields and heat transfer characteristics inside a gas turbine combustor provides one of the most serious challenges for gas turbine researchers because of the harsh environment at high temperatures. Design improvements of gas turbine combustors for higher efficiency, reduced pollutant emissions, safety and durability require better understanding of combustion in swirl flows and thermal energy transfer from the turbulent reacting flows to solid surfaces. Therefore, accurate measurement and prediction of the flows and heat loads are indispensable. This dissertation presents flow details and wall heat flux measurements for reacting flow conditions in a model gas turbine combustor. The objective is to experimentally investigate the effects of combustor operating conditions on the reacting swirl flows and heat transfer on the liner wall. The results shows the behavior of swirling flows inside a combustor generated by an industrial lean pre-mixed, axial swirl fuel nozzle and associated heat loads. Planar particle image velocimetry (PIV) data were analyzed to understand the characteristics of the flow field. Experiments were conducted with various air flow rates, equivalence ratios, pilot fuel split ratios, and inlet air temperatures. Methane and propane were used as fuel. Characterizing the impingement location on the liner, and the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) distribution were a main part of the investigation. Proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) further analyzed the data to compare coherent structures in the reacting and non-reacting flows. Comparison between reacting and non-reacting flows yielded very striking differences. Self-similarity of the flow were observed at different operating conditions. Flow temperature measurements with a thermocouple scanning probe setup revealed the temperature distribution and flow structure. Features of premixed swirl flame were observed in the measurement. Non-uniformity of flow temperature near liner wall was observed ranging from 1000 K to 1400 K. The results provide insights on the driving mechanism of convection heat transfer. As a novel non-intrusive measurement technique for reacting flows, flame infrared radiation was measured with a thermographic camera. Features of the flame and swirl flow were observed from reconstructed map of measured IR radiation projection using Abel transformation. Flow structures in the infrared measurement agreed with observations of flame luminosity images and the temperature map. The effect of equivalence ratio on the IR radiation was observed. Liner wall temperature and heat transfer were measured with infrared thermographic camera. The combustor was operated under reacting condition to test realistic heat load inside the industrial combustors. Using quartz glass liner and KG2 filter glass, the IR camera could measure inner wall surface temperature through the glass at high temperature. Time resolved axial distributions of inner/outer wall temperature were obtained, and hot side heat flux distribution was also calculated from time accurate solution of finite difference method. The information about flows and wall heat transfer found in this work are beneficial for numerical simulations for optimized combustor cooling design. Measurement data of flow temperature, velocity field, infrared radiation, and heat transfer can be used as validation purpose or for direct inputs as boundary conditions. Time-independent location of peak location of liner wall temperature was found from time resolved wall temperature measurements and PIV flow measurements. This indicates the location where the cooling design should be able to compensate for the temperature increase in lean premixed swirl combustors. The characteristics on the swirl flows found in this study points out that the reacting changes the flow structure significantly, while the operating conditions has minor effect on the structure. The limitation of non-reacting testing must be well considered for experimental combustor studies. However, reacting testing can be performed cost-effectively for reduced number of conditions, utilizing self-similar characteristics of the flows found in this study.
- Doctoral Dissertations