An aero gas turbine engine has been proposed that uses a near-constant-temperature (NCT) cycle and an Inter-Turbine Burner (ITB) to provide large amounts of power extraction from the low-pressure turbine. This level of energy is achieved with a modest temperature rise across the ITB. The additional energy can be used to power a large geared fan for an ultra-high bypass ratio transport aircraft, or to drive an alternator for large amounts of electrical power extraction. Conventional gas turbines engines cannot drive ultra-large diameter fans without causing excessively high turbine temperatures, and cannot meet high power extraction demands without a loss of engine thrust. Reducing the size of the combustion system is key to make use of a NCT gas turbine cycle. Ultra-compact combustor (UCC) concepts are being explored experimentally. These systems use high swirl in a circumferential cavity about the engine centerline to enhance reaction rates via high cavity g-loading on the order of 3000 g’s. Any increase in reaction rate can be exploited to reduce combustor volume. The UCC design integrates compressor and turbine features which will enable a shorter and potentially less complex gas turbine engine. This paper will present experimental data of the Ultra-Compact Combustor (UCC) performance in vitiated flow. Vitiation levels were varied from 12–20% oxygen levels to simulate exhaust from the high pressure turbine (HPT). Experimental results from the ITB at atmospheric pressure indicate that the combustion system operates at 97–99% combustion efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions burning JP-8 +100 fuel. Flame lengths were extremely short, at about 50% of those seen in conventional systems. A wide range of operation is possible with lean blowout fuel-air ratio limits at 25–50% below the value of current systems. These results are significant because the ITB only requires a small (300°F) temperature rise for optimal power extraction, leading to operation of the ITB at near-lean-blowout limits of conventional combustor designs. This data lays the foundation for the design space required for future engine designs.
Exploration of Compact Combustors for Reheat Cycle Aero Engine Applications
Zelina, J, Shouse, DT, Stutrud, JS, Sturgess, GJ, & Roquemore, WM. "Exploration of Compact Combustors for Reheat Cycle Aero Engine Applications." Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2006: Power for Land, Sea, and Air. Volume 1: Combustion and Fuels, Education. Barcelona, Spain. May 8–11, 2006. pp. 137-147. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/GT2006-90179
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