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Strongly Coupled Fluid-Structure Interaction in a Three-Dimensional Model Combustor during Limit Cycle Oscillations

journal publication
Mina Shahi, Jim. B. W. Kok, J.C. Roman Casado, Artur. K. Pozarlik
Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power. 140(6), 061505
Publication year: 2018

Due to the high temperature of the flue gas flowing at high velocity and pressure, the wall cooling is extremely important for the liner of a gas turbine engine combustor. The liner material is heat resistant steel with relatively low heat conductivity. To accommodate outside wall forced air cooling, the liner is designed to be thin, which unfortunately facilitates the possibility of high amplitude wall vibrations (and failure due to fatigue) in case of pressure fluctuations in the combustor. The latter may occur due to a possible occurrence of a feedback loop between the aerodynamics, the combustion, the acoustics and the structural vibrations. The structural vibrations act as a source of acoustic emitting the acoustic waves to the confined fluid. This leads to amplification in the acoustic filed and hence the magnitude of instability in the system. The aim of this paper is to explore the mechanism of fluid-structure interaction on the LIMOUSINE setup which leads to limit cycle of pressure oscillations (LCO). Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis using a RANS approach is performed to obtain the thermal and mechanical loading of the combustor liner and finite element model (FEM) renders the temperature, stress distribution, and deformation in the liner. Results are compared to other numerical approaches like zero-way interaction and conjugated heat transfer model (CHT). To recognize the advantage/disadvantage of each method validation is made with the available measured data for the pressure and vibration signals, showing that the thermoacoustic instabilities are well predicted using the CHT and two-way coupled approaches. While the zero-way interaction model prediction gives the largest discrepancy from experimental results.

Numerical modelling of char formation during glucose gasification in supercritical water

journal publication
R Yukananto, A Pozarlik, E Bramer, G Brem
The Journal of Supercritical Fluids 140, 258-269
Publication year: 2018

Supercritical water gasification is an efficient thermochemical conversion process to convert wet biomass into a high grade fuel. However, char formation during the conversion might influence the process efficiency and operational stability. Providing insight into char formation behavior during the gasification process will facilitate the utilization of this technology. Computational fluid dynamic modelling is used to study the supercritical water gasification of glucose in a tubular helical reactor, which includes an injector tube to mix glucose feed with pre-heated water to provide fast heating. Validation against experimental data confirms that the developed model performs well. An average discrepancy of 4% is obtained for the total feed conversion whereas the gas yield at high temperature is computed with 15% difference. The char yield trend is also captured well. Sensitivity analysis reveals that the presence of low temperature zone at the injection point plays a significant role in char formation.

Numerical investigation towards HiTAC conditions in laboratory-scale ethanol spray combustion

journal publication
Shanglong Zhu, Artur Pozarlik, Dirk Roekaerts, Hugo Correia Rodrigues,Theo van der Meer
Fuel Volume 211, 1 January 2018, Pages 375-389
Publication year: 2018

In the past 25 years high temperature air combustion (HiTAC) technology has been proved and utilized in industry as a promising way to increase thermal efficiency, create a relatively uniform temperature distribution, and reduce emissions of harmful pollutants such as NOXand CO. However, due to the complexity of fuel-oil combustion, to date HiTAC is mainly applied to gaseous fuel or coal, and little is known about spray combustion under HiTAC condition. In the present study, we numerically investigate the Delft Spray-in-Hot-Coflow (DSHC) using ethanol in high temperature diluted combustion air, and extend it to more co-flow conditions. We employ different temperatures and oxygen concentrations of the co-flow in order to dilute the oxidizer/fuel before it reacts with the fuel/ oxidizer. The pressure-swirl atomizer model with an Eulerian-Lagrangian approach was implemented for the spray modeling. Collision, coalescence, secondary breakup and evaporation of the drops were taken into account. The steady laminar flamelet model for the combustion of ethanol, the Discrete Ordinate model for radiation and the k-ε model for the turbulence with enhanced wall treatment were validated by the simulation of the NIST flame under conventional conditions and then used in the current study.

The results indicate that the decreased peak temperature in many HiTAC applications with high temperature combustion air is mainly due to the reduced oxygen concentration by entraining flue gas.

In the present study, a low oxygen concentration slows the evaporation process of droplets. It results in an enlarged combustion zone, a lowered peak temperature and minor NOXemission. However, decreasing the oxygen concentration may lead to problems of cracking, soot formation and flame extinction, especially for heavy oils. The optimization needs to be carried out based on the analysis of a specific fuel in order to create a HiTAC-like condition.

Based on the results of the current study, the 1500 K and 6%vol oxygen concentration case is considered as a HiTAC condition.

Effect of char on the combustion process of multicomponent bio-fuel

journal publication
Amir Houshang Mahmoudi, A.K. Pozarlik, E. van der Weide, S.R.A. Kersten, S. Luding, G. Brem
Chemical Engineering Science Volume 175, 16 January 2018, Pages 286-295
Publication year: 2018

Combustion of pyrolysis oil has attracted many attention in recent years as a renewable and environmental friendly fuel. However, pyrolysis oil as an multi-component fuel has some differences compared to conventional fossil fuels. One of the main differences is the formation of solid char in the droplet during
evaporation. The goal of this work is to study the effect of the solid char on the combustion characteristics of multi-component fuel. An Euler-Lagrange model of three phase gas/liquid/solid combustion is developed to study the detailed information about every phenomena in the process such as: heat, mass and momentum transfer between droplet and gas phase, droplet evaporation, homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions. The results indicate that the presence of the solid char and consequently its combustion elongates significantly the combustion region in a typical spray injection chamber/burner. Moreover, the gas phase reaches higher temperatures as a result of char combustion that creates more heat by heterogeneous oxidation as a kind of afterburner

Computational fluid dynamic model for glycerol gasification in supercritical water in a tee junction shaped cylindrical reactor

journal publication
Riza Yukananto, Artur K. Pozarlik, Gerrit Brem
The Journal of Supercritical Fluids Volume 133, Part 1, March 2018, Pages 330-342
Publication year: 2018

Gasification in supercritical water is a very promising technology to process wet biomass into a valuable gas. Providing insight of the process behavior is therefore very important. In this research a computational fluid dynamic model is developed to investigate glycerol gasification in supercritical water, which takes place in a cylindrical reactor with a tee junction. The performance of the developed model is validated against experiment, and it shows that the model is able to describe the process very well. The experimental validation shows that the model slightly overestimates the outlet temperature on average by 6% and underestimates the carbon gasification efficiency on average by 16%. The flow behavior in the supercritical water gasification process is successfully described and a sensitivity analysis is conducted. It is revealed that the flow pattern of the process is heavily influenced by gravitational forces which significantly influences mixing and heat transfer.

Numerical study of pyrolysis oil combustion in an industrial gas turbine

journal publication
J.L.H.P. Sallevelt, A.K. Pozarlik, G. Brem
Energy Conversion and Management 127:504-514
Publication year: 2016
Abstract: The growing demand for the use of biofuels for decentralized power generation initiates new research in gas turbine technology. However, development of new combustors for low calorific fuels is costly in terms of time and money. To give momentum to biofuels application for power generation robust numerical models for multicomponent biofuels must be developed. This paper discusses the use of CFD techniques for modeling the combustion of pyrolysis oil in a new burner geometry from OPRA Turbines. Pyrolysis oil contains many different compounds, which are represented by a discrete fuel model consisting of seven components. The components and their initial fractions approximate the volatility, water content, elemental composition and heating value of a typical fast pyrolysis oil. Simulations have been carried out for both the multicomponent pyrolysis oil and, as a reference, ethanol, a single-component biofuel with a higher volatility. Comparative simulations have been performed to examine the influence of the initial droplet size and to evaluate different combustion models. The results were compared to available experimental data for pyrolysis oil and ethanol combustion. A qualitatively good agreement was achieved.

Transient heat transfer between a turbulent lean partially premixed flame in limit cycle oscillation and the walls of a can type combustor

journal publication
Shahi, Mina and Kok, Jim B.W. and Roman Casado, J.C. and Pozarlik, Artur K.
Applied thermal engineering, 81 . 128 - 139. ISSN 1359-4311
Publication year: 2015

Abstract: In this paper transient fluid-structure thermal analyses of the Limousine test rig have been conducted while the combustor was exposed to saturated amplitude limit cycle combustion oscillations (LCO). The heat transfer between hot combustion gases and the liner wall cooled by convection will affect thermo-acoustic instabilities, and therefore the relevance of prediction of the transient heat transfer rate in gas turbine combustors is explored. The commercial CFD code ANSYS CFX is used to analyze the problem. Fluid and solid regions are resolved simultaneously in a monolithical approach with application of a finite volume approach. Since the spatial scales of the solid temperature profiles are different in case of steady state and transient oscillatory heat transfer, special care has to be taken in the meshing strategy. It is shown that for the transient oscillatory heat transfer in to the solid in LCO operation, the mesh distribution and size of the grid in the solid part of the domain will play a very important role in determining the magnitude for the heat flow in the solid and the gas pressure fluctuations, and the grid resolution needs to be adapted to the thermal penetration depth. Moreover, compared to the calculations of only the fluid domain with adiabatic/isothermal boundary wall conditions, the results demonstrated that application of the Conjugated Heat Transfer (CHT) model leads to significant accuracy improvements in the prediction of the characteristics of the combustion instability.

On characteristics of a non-reacting and a reacting turbulent flow over a backward facing step (BFS)

journal publication
Shahi, Mina and Kok, Jim B.W. and Pozarlik, Artur
International journal of heat and mass transfer, 61 . 16 - 25. ISSN 0017-9310
Publication year: 2015

Abstract: The turbulent reacting flow over a backward facing step shares some essential characteristics of premixed combustion occurring in a typical gas turbine combustor, while it is a simpler configuration to observe and model. For this reason and to explore the characteristics of the turbulent flow, in this study the combustion and flow dynamics in a backward facing step as a most elementary part of a combustor is studied numerically in atmospheric conditions. Two different configurations representing two laboratory devices are considered. As a first necessary step, the accuracy of predicted results is validated through the detailed comparison of numerical predictions and experimental measurements for a non-reacting flow. First, based on these non-reacting calculations, the turbulent model is selected and then the reacting simulations are done using a standard combustion model (available in CFX). Calculations are well supported with experimental data available from literature. Among the investigated turbulence models (k − ω, SST and SAS–SST), SAS–SST model showed the best agreement with the experimental data. The chosen turbulence model was used for the calculation of well documented case of turbulent flow over a backward facing step with the heated wall, showing satisfactory results compared to experimental data. For modeling of the reacting flow, the BVM combustion model was used. The predicted results using this model showed accurate results with an error about 2% on prediction of reattachment length

Eulerian–Lagrangian RANS Model Simulations of the NIST Turbulent Methanol Spray Flame

journal publication
Zhu, Shanglong and Roekaerts, Dirk and Pozarlik, Artur and Meer, Theo van der
Combustion science and technology, 187 (7). 1110 - 1138. ISSN 0010-2202
Publication year: 2015

Abstract: A methanol spray flame in a combustion chamber of the NIST was simulated using an Eulerian–Lagrangian RANS model. Experimental data and previous numerical investigations by other researchers on this flame were analyzed to develop methods for more comprehensive model validation. The inlet boundary conditions of the spray were generated using semi-empirical models representing atomization, collision, coalescence, and secondary breakup. Experimental information on the trajectory of the spray was used to optimize the parameters of the pressure-swirl atomizer model. The standard k-ϵ turbulence model was used with enhanced wall treatment. A detailed reaction mechanism of gaseous combustion of methanol was used in the frame of the steady laminar flamelet model. The radiative transfer equations were solved using the discrete ordinates method. In general, the predicted mean velocity components of the gaseous flow and the droplets, the droplet number density, and the Sauter mean diameter (SMD) of the droplets at various heights in the present study show good agreement with the experimental data. Special attention is paid to the relative merits of the employed method to set inlet boundary conditions compared to the alternative method of using a measured droplet size and velocity distribution

Characterization of viscous biofuel sprays using digital imaging in the near field region

journal publication
Sallevelt, J.L.H.P. and Pozarlik, A.K. and Brem, G.
Applied energy, 147 . 161 - 175. ISSN 0306-2619
Publication year: 2015

Abstract: The atomization of biodiesel, vegetable oil and glycerin has been studied in an atmospheric spray rig by using digital imaging (PDIA). Images of the spray were captured in the near field, just 18 mm downstream of the atomizer, and processed to automatically determine the size of both ligaments and droplets. The effect of the spray structure in this region is of major interest for the combustion of biofuels in gas turbines. The sprays were produced by a pressure-swirl atomizer that originates from the multifuel micro gas turbine (MMGT) setup. Various injection conditions have been tested to investigate the influence of viscosity on the spray characteristics and to assess the overall performance of the atomizer. The spray measurements have been compared to combustion experiments with biodiesel and vegetable oil in the micro gas turbine at similar injection conditions. The results show that the primary breakup process rapidly deteriorates when the viscosity is increased. A higher viscosity increases the breakup length, which becomes visible at the measurement location in the form of ligaments. This effect leads to an unacceptable spray quality once the viscosity slightly exceeds the typical range for conventional gas turbine fuels. The SMD in the investigated spray region was not significantly affected by viscosity, but mainly influenced by injection pressure. The data furthermore indicate an increase in SMD with surface tension. It was found that the penetration depth of ligaments can have major impact on the combustion process, and that the droplet size is not always the critical factor responsible for efficient combustion. The measured delay in primary breakup at increased viscosity shows that pressure-swirl atomization is unsuitable for the application of pure pyrolysis oil in an unmodified gas turbine engine

The impact of spray quality on the combustion of a viscous biofuel in a micro gas turbine

journal publication
Sallevelt, J.L.H.P. and Gudde, J.E.P. and Pozarlik, A.K. and Brem, G.
Applied energy, 132 . 575 - 585. ISSN 0306-2619
Publication year: 2014

Abstract: The relation between spray quality and combustion performance in a micro gas turbine has been studied by burning a viscous biofuel at different fuel injection conditions. Emissions from the combustion of a viscous mixture of straight vegetable oils have been compared to reference measurements with diesel No. 2.
The effect of fuel viscosity on pollutant emissions is determined by adjusting the injection temperature. The measurements confirm that a reduction in fuel viscosity improves the spray quality, resulting in faster droplet evaporation and more complete combustion. CO emission levels were observed to decrease linearly with viscosity in the tested range. For the pressure-swirl nozzle used in the tests, the upper viscosity limit is found to be 9 cP. Above this value, droplet evaporation seems to be incomplete as the exhaust gas contains a considerable amount of unburned fuel.
Additionally, the influence of increased injection pressure and combustor temperature is evaluated by varying the load. Adding more load resulted in improved combustion when burning diesel. In case of vegetable oil, however, this trend is less consistent as the decrease in CO emissions is not observed over the full load range.
The outcome of this study gives directions for the application of pyrolysis oil in gas turbines, a more advanced biofuel with high viscosity

Sensitivity of the Numerical Prediction of Turbulent Combustion Dynamics in the LIMOUSINE Combustor

journal publication
Shahi, M. and Kok, J.B.W. and Pozarlik, A.K. and Roman Casado, J.C. and Sponfeldner, T.
Journal of engineering for gas turbines and power, 136 (2). 021504. ISSN 0742-4795
Publication year: 2014

Abstract: The objective of this study is to investigate the sensitivity and accuracy of the reaction flow-field prediction for the LIMOUSINE combustor with regard to choices in computational mesh and turbulent combustion model. The LIMOUSINE combustor is a partially premixed, bluff body-stabilized natural gas combustor designed to operate at 40–80 kW and atmospheric pressure and used to study combustion instabilities. The transient simulation of a turbulent combusting flow with the purpose to study thermoacoustic instabilities is a very time-consuming process. For that reason, the meshing approach leading to accurate numerical prediction, known sensitivity, and minimized amount of mesh elements is important. Since the numerical dissipation (and dispersion) is highly dependent on, and affected by, the geometrical mesh quality, it is of high importance to control the mesh distribution and element size across the computational domain. Typically, the structural mesh topology allows using much fewer grid elements compared to the unstructured grid; however, an unstructured mesh is favorable for flows in complex geometries. To explore computational stability and accuracy, the numerical dissipation of the cold flow with mixing of fuel and air is studied first in the absence of the combustion process. Thereafter, the studies are extended to combustible flows using standard available ansys-cfx combustion models. To validate the predicted variable fields of the combustor’s transient reactive flows, the numerical results for dynamic pressure and temperature variations, resolved under structured and unstructured mesh conditions, are compared with experimental data. The obtained results show minor dependence on the used mesh in the velocity and pressure profiles of the investigated grids under nonreacting conditions. More significant differences are observed in the mixing behavior of air and fuel flows. Here, the numerical dissipation of the (unstructured) tetrahedral mesh topology is higher than in the case of the (structured) hexahedral mesh. For that reason, the combusting flow, resolved with the use of the hexahedral mesh, presents better agreement with experimental data and demands less computational effort. Finally, in the paper, the performance of the combustion model for reacting flow is presented and the main issues of the applied combustion modeling are reviewed.

Fluid-Structure Interaction in Combustion System of a Gas Turbine—Effect of Liner Vibrations

journal publication
Pozarlik, A.K. and Kok, J.B.W.
Journal of engineering for gas turbines and power, 136 (9). ISSN 0742-4795
Publication year: 2014

Abstract: Prediction of mutual interaction between flow, combustion, acoustic, and vibration phenomena occurring in a combustion chamber is crucial for the reliable operation of any combustion device. In this paper, this is studied with application to the combustion chamber of a gas turbine. Very dangerous for the integrity of a gas turbine structure can be the coupling between unsteady heat release by the flame, acoustic wave propagation, and liner vibrations. This can lead to a closed-loop feedback system resulting in mechanical failure of the combustor liner due to fatigue and fatal damage to the turbine. Experimental and numerical investigations of the process are performed on a pressurized laboratory-scale combustor. To take into account interaction between reacting flow, acoustics, and vibrations of a liner, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computational structural dynamics (CSD) calculations are combined into one calculation process using a partitioning technique. Computed pressure fluctuations inside the combustion chamber and associated liner vibrations are validated with experiments performed at the state-of-the-art pressurized combustion setup. Three liner structures with different thicknesses are studied. The numerical results agree well with the experimental data. The research shows that the combustion instabilities can be amplified by vibrating walls. The modeling approach discussed in this paper allows to decrease the risk of the gas turbine failure by prediction, for given operating conditions, of the hazardous frequency at which the thermoacoustic instabilities appear.

Bioethanol combustion in an industrial gas turbine combustor: simulations and experiments

journal publication
Sallevelt, J.L.H.P. and Pozarlik, A.K. and Beran, Martin and Axelsson, L. and Brem, G.
Journal of engineering for gas turbines and power, 136 (7). 071501. ISSN 0742-4795
Publication year: 2014

Abstract: Combustion tests with bioethanol and diesel as a reference have been performed in OPRA’s 2 MWe class OP16 gas turbine combustor. The main purposes of this work are to investigate the combustion quality of ethanol with respect to diesel and to validate the developed CFD model for ethanol spray combustion. The experimental investigation has been conducted in a modified OP16 gas turbine combustor, which is a reverse-flow tubular combustor of the diffusion type. Bioethanol and diesel burning experiments have been performed at atmospheric pressure with a thermal input ranging from 29 to 59 kW. Exhaust gas temperature and emissions (CO, CO2, O2, NOx) were measured at various fuel flow rates while keeping the air flow rate and air temperature constant. In addition, the temperature profile of the combustor liner has been determined by applying thermochromic paint. CFD simulations have been performed with ethanol for five different operating conditions using ANSYS FLUENT. The simulations are based on a 3D RANS code. Fuel droplets representing the fuel spray are tracked throughout the domain while they interact with the gas phase. A liner temperature measurement has been used to account for heat transfer through the flame tube wall. Detailed combustion chemistry is included by using the steady laminar flamelet model. Comparison between diesel and bioethanol burning tests show similar CO emissions, but NOx concentrations are lower for bioethanol. The CFD results for CO2 and O2 are in good agreement, proving the overall integrity of the model. NOx concentrations were found to be in fair agreement, but the model failed to predict CO levels in the exhaust gas. Simulations of the fuel spray suggest that some liner wetting might have occurred. However, this finding could not be clearly confirmed by the test data.

Assessment of thermoacoustic instabilities in a partially premixed model combustor using URANS approach

journal publication
Shahi, Mina and Kok, Jim B.W. and Roman Casado, J.C. and Pozarlik, Artur K.
Applied thermal engineering, 71 (1). 276 - 290. ISSN 1359-4311
Publication year: 2014

Abstract: The paper presents a numerical study of the mechanisms driving thermoacoustic instabilities in a lean partially premixed combustor in conditions representative of gas turbine combustion systems. Various combustion models and modeling approaches able to predict the onset of thermoacoustic instabilities are examined and applied to the experimental test rig in order to assess their validity. The influence of the imposed acoustic and thermal boundary conditions on characterization of the coupling between heat release rate fluctuations and the acoustic field is investigated. Predicted data is used to improve the understanding of mutual interactions between pressure fluctuations and unsteady heat release in the unstable combustors which play an essential role in characterizing limit-cycle behavior. The mean convective time delay between heat release and the perturbation in the flow is used to determine the stability condition of the combustor. The study shows that heat transfer is important parameter regulating pressure oscillations.

Numerical Simulation of a Turbulent Flow Over a Backward Facing Step With Heated Wall: Effect of Pulsating Velocity and Oscillating Wall

journal publication
Pozarlik, A.K. and Kok, J.B.W.
Journal of thermal science and engineering applications, 4 (4). 041005. ISSN 1948-5085
Publication year: 2012

Abstract: An accurate prediction of the flow and the thermal boundary layer is required to properly simulate gas to wall heat transfer in a turbulent flow. This is studied with a view to application to gas turbine combustors. A typical gas turbine combustion chamber flow presents similarities with the well-studied case of turbulent flow over a backward facing step, especially in the near-wall regions where the heat transfer phenomena take place. However, the combustion flow in a gas turbine engine is often of a dynamic nature and enclosed by a vibrating liner. Therefore apart from steady state situations, cases with an oscillatory inlet flow and vibrating walls are investigated. Results of steady state and transient calculations for the flow field, friction coefficient, and heat transfer coefficient, with the use of various turbulence models, are compared with literature data. It has been observed that the variations in the excitation frequency of the inlet flow and wall vibrations have an influence on the instantaneous heat transfer coefficient profile. However, significant effect on the time mean value and position of the heat transfer peak is only visible for the inlet velocity profile fluctuations with frequency approximately equal to the turbulence bursting frequency.

Numerical study of coupled fluid–structure interaction for combustion system

journal publication
Khatir, Z. and Pozarlik, A.K. and Cooper, R.K. and Watterson, J.W. and Kok, J.B.W.
International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 58 (8). pp. 1343-1349. ISSN 0271-2091
Publication year: 2008

Abstract: The computation of fluid–structure interaction (FSI) problems requires solving simultaneously the coupled fluid and structure equations. A partitioned approach using a volume spline solution procedure is applied for the coupling of fluid dynamics and structural dynamics codes. For comparative study, two commercial packages for combustion and structural analysis are used. Results of numerical investigations of FSI between unsteady flow and vibrating liner in a combustion chamber are presented and show good agreement with experimental data.