Over the past two decades Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has become increasingly popular with the gas turbine industry as a design tool. By applying CFD techniques during the early stages of designing a product, engineers can establish the key parameters and dimensions of a system before any experimental trial and error tests are made, thus reducing the product cycle time and costs. This study compares CFD predictions with a comprehensive set of experimental measurements made at QinetiQ on the combustion of aviation fuel within a modem airspray combustor. The performances of two separate models describing the chemical interactions are compared. First, an equilibrium model was employed and linked to the 3D commercial solver, FLUENT 5.5, through a mixture fraction/PDF lookup table approach. Similarly a flamelet model was implemented using a recently developed detailed chemical reaction mechanism describing aviation fuel combustion which has previously received rigorous testing with regard to its predictive performance over a wide range of combustion conditions (Patterson et al., 2001). Both cases predicted heat transfer through a new non-adiabatic PDF lookup table generator developed within the department. This allowed the implementation of a discrete phase model that treats the fuel entering the combustor as a fine liquid spray before evaporating and arriving in the gaseous phase. Two turbulence models (k-ε and Reynolds Stress models) were also used and the results of each compared.

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