To obtain a better understanding of the internal combustion processes of gas turbines, CFD computations of a combustion chamber, based on a Rolls-Royce industrial gas turbine, were performed. Minor simplifications are made to generate a 3-D rotational symmetric geometry. Computations are performed at typical gas turbine conditions and natural gas is used as the fuel. An internal Rolls-Royce CFD code is applied to perform the computations. This paper explains the models used for the CFD computations and describes the advantages and limitations on the applied models.

The combustion process has been modelled using a two-step global reaction mechanism and Intrinsic Low Dimensional Manifold (ILDM) reduced reaction mechanisms. The global reaction mechanisms are optimised for the considered operating conditions by modification of the reaction rates so that the same burning velocity and the amplitude CO-peak are obtained as predicted by detailed reaction mechanism (GRI 2.11, Bowman 1995). This optimisation is done considering a one-dimensional laminar flame. Although the global reaction mechanism is optimised for one particular operating condition, it appears that it is suitable for use over the entire range of operating conditions. The ILDM reduced reaction mechanisms are derived from GRI 2.11. Two ILDM tables are used to model two operating conditions, as they are specific for the pressure and inlet temperature. The interaction between turbulence and chemistry is modelled using presumed Probability Density Functions (PDF).

The flow field in the combustion chamber is studied at isothermal and combusting conditions. It appeared that the flow field for burning and non-burning circumstances is quite different.

There is a lack of experimental data so that it is not possible to verify the CFD results in detail. However, there is knowledge about the mechanisms by which the flame is stabilised and emissions are measured in the exhaust. The predicted flame front position agrees with that which is experimentally observed. The predicted increase of CO at low power is at the same order of magnitude as the measured emissions.

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