Modeling Effects of Outlet Nozzle Geometry on Swirling Flows in Gas Turbine
Swirl stabilised combustion is one of the most successful technologies for flame stabilisation in gas turbine combustors. Lean premixed combustion systems allow the reduction of NOx coupled with fair flame stability. The swirl mechanism produces an aerodynamic region known as central recirculation zone (CRZ) providing a low velocity region where the flame speed matches the flow velocity, thus anchoring the flame whilst serving to recycle heat and active chemical species to the root of the former. Another beneficial feature of the CRZ is the enhancement of the mixing in and around this region. However, the mixing and stabilisation processes inside of this zone have shown to be extremely complex. The level of swirl, burner outlet configuration and combustor expansion are very important variables that define the features of the CRZ. The complex fluid dynamics and lean conditions pose a problem for stabilization of the flame. The problem is even more acute when alternative fuels are used for flexible operation. Therefore, in this paper swirling flame dynamics are investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with commercial software (ANSYS). A new generic swirl burner operated under lean-premixed conditions was modelled. A variety of nozzles were analysed using isothermal case to recognize the the behavers of swirl. The investigation was based on recognising the size and strength of the central recirculation zones. The dimensions and turbulence of the Central Recirculation Zone were measured and correlated to previous experiments. The results show how the strength and size of the recirculation zone are highly influenced by both the shear layer surrounding the Central Recirculation Zones (CRZ) and outlet configurations
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