This paper describes the design and testing of a catalytically-stabilized pilot burner for current and advanced Dry Low NOx (DLN) gas turbine combustors. In this paper, application of the catalytic pilot technology to industrial engines is described using Solar Turbines’ Taurus 70 engine. The objective of the work described is to develop the catalytic pilot technology and document the emission benefits of catalytic pilot technology when compared to higher, NOx producing pilots. The catalytic pilot was designed to replace the existing pilot in the existing DLN injector without major modification to the injector. During high pressure testing, the catalytic pilot showed no incidence of flashback or autoignition while operating over wide range of combustion temperatures. The catalytic reactor lit off at a temperature of approximately 598K (325°C/617°F) and operated at simulated 100% and 50% load conditions without a preburner. At high pressure, the maximum catalyst surface temperature was similar to that observed during atmospheric pressure testing and considerably lower than the surface temperature expected in lean-burn catalytic devices. In single injector rig testing, the integrated assembly of the catalytic pilot and Taurus 70 injector demonstrated NOx and CO emission less than 5 ppm @ 15% O2 for 100% and 50% load conditions along with low acoustics. The results demonstrate that a catalytic pilot burner replacing a diffusion flame or partially-premixed pilot in an otherwise DLN combustor can enable operation at conditions with substantially reduced NOx emissions.

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