Design and Benchmarking of a Combustor Simulator Relevant to Gas Turbine Engines


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Virginia Tech


An experimental facility was designed and benchmarked that could simulate the non-uniformities in the flow and thermal fields exiting real gas-turbine combustors. The design of the combustor simulator required analyses of the flow paths within a real combustor in a gas turbine engine. Modifications were made to an existing wind tunnel facility to allow for the installation of the combustor simulator. The overall performance of the simulator was then benchmarked through measurements of velocity, pressure, temperature, and turbulence using a straight exit test section to provide a baseline set of data. Comparisons of the measured quantities were made between two test cases that included a flow field with and without dilution flow.One of the major findings from this study was that the total pressure profiles exiting the combustor simulator in the near-wall region were different from a turbulent boundary layer. This is significant since many studies consider a turbulent boundary layer as the inlet condition to the turbine. Turbulent integral length scales were found to scale well with the dilution hole diameters and no dominant frequencies were observed in the streamwise velocity energy spectra. Dilution flow resulted in an increase in turbulence levels and mixing causing a reduction in the variation of total pressure and velocity. Adiabatic effectiveness levels were significantly reduced for the case with dilution flow in both the near combustor exit region and along the axial length of the straight exit test section.



combustion chamber, gas turbines