An experimental investigation was undertaken of the influence on emissions of full coverage discrete hole film cooling of a lean low NOx radial swirler natural gas combustor. The combustor used radial swirler vane passage fuel injection on the centre of the vane passage inlet. The test configuration was similar to that used in the Alstom Power Tornado and related family of low NOx gas turbines. The test conditions were simulated at atmospheric pressure at the flow condition of lean low NOx gas turbine primary zones. The tests were carried out at an isothermal flow Mach number of 0.03, which represents 60% of industrial gas turbine combustor airflow through the swirl primary zone. The effusion film cooling used was Rolls-Royce Transply, which has efficient internal cooling of the wall as well as full coverage discrete hole film cooling. Film cooling levels of 0, 16 and 40% of the primary zone airflow were investigated for a fixed total primary zone air flow and reference Mach number of 0.03. The results showed that there was a major increase in the NOx emissions for 740K inlet temperature and 0.45 overall equivalence ratio from 6ppm at zero film cooling air flow to 32ppm at 40% coolant flow rate. CO emissions increased from 25ppm to 75ppm for the same increase in film cooling flow rate. It was shown that the main effect was the creation of a richer inner swirler combustion with a surrounding film cooling flow that did not mix well with the central swirling combustion. The increase in NOx and CO could be predicted on the basis of the central swirl flow equivalence ratio.

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