An experimental test campaign, aimed to provide a preliminary assessment of the fuel flexibility of small power gas turbines equipped with Dry Low NOx (DLN) combustion systems, has been carried over a full-scale GE10 prototypical unit, located at the Nuovo-Pignone manufacturing site, in Florence. Such activity is a follow-up of a previous experimental campaign, performed on the same engine, but equipped with a diffusive combustion system. The engine is a single shaft, simple cycle gas turbine designed for power generation applications, rated for 11 MW electrical power and equipped with a DLN silos type combustor. One of the peculiar features of such combustion system is the presence of a device for primary combustion air staging, in order to control flame temperature. A variable composition gaseous fuel mixture has been obtained by mixing natural gas with CO2 up to about 30% vol. inerts concentration. Tests have been carried over without any modification of the default hardware configuration. Tests performed aimed to investigate both ignition limits and combustors’ performances, focusing on hot parts’ temperatures, pollutant emissions and combustion driven pressure oscillations. Results indicate that ignition is possible up to 20% vol. inerts concentration in the fuel, keeping the fuel flow during ignition at moderately low levels. Beyond 20% vol. inerts, ignition is still possible increasing fuel flow and adjusting primary air staging, but more tests are necessary to increase confidence in defining optimal and critical values. Speed ramps and load operation have been successfully tested up to 30% vol. inerts concentration. As far as speed ramps, the only issue evidenced has been risk of flameout, successfully abated by rescheduling combustion air staging. As far as load operation, the combustion system has proven to be almost insensitive to any inerts concentration tested (up to 30% vol.): the only parameter significantly affected by variation in CO2 concentration has been NOx emission. As a complementary activity, a simplified zero-dimensional model for predicting NOx emission has been developed, accounting for fuel dilution with CO2. The model is based on main turbine cycle and DLN combustion system controlling parameters (i.e., compressor pressure ratio, firing temperature, pilot fuel and primary air staging), and has been tuned achieving good agreement with data collected during the test campaign.

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