A Lean-Premixed Hydrogen Injector with Vane Driven Swirl for Application in Gas Turbines

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Virginia Tech

Hydrogen, as an alternative to conventional aviation fuels, has the potential to increase the efficiency of a gas turbine as well as reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. In addition to significantly reducing the number of pollutants due to the absence of carbon, burning hydrogen at low equivalence ratios can significantly reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Because hydrogen has a wide range of flammability limits, fuel lean combustion can take place at lower equivalence ratios than those with typical hydrocarbon fuels.

Numerous efforts have been made to develop gas turbine fuel injectors that premix methane/natural gas and air in fuel lean proportions prior to the reaction zone. Application of this technique to hydrogen combustion has been limited due to hydrogen's high flame rate and the concern of the reaction zone propagating into the premixing injector, commonly referred to as flashback. In this investigation, a lean-premixing hydrogen injector has been developed for application in small gas turbines. The performance of this injector was characterized and predictions about the injector's performance operating under combustor inlet conditions of a PT6-20 Turboprop have been made.

Hydrogen, Fuel Injection, Gas Turbine, Lean-Premixed Combustion