A novel combustor design, referred to as a Stagnation Point Reverse Flow (SPRF) combustor, was recently developed to overcome the stability issues encountered with most lean premixed combustion systems. The SPRF combustor is able to operate stably at very lean fuel-air mixtures with low NOx emissions. The reverse flow configuration causes the flow to stagnate and hot products to reverse and leave the combustor. The highly turbulent stagnation zone and internal recirculation of hot product gases facilitates robust flame stabilization in the SPRF combustor at very lean conditions over a range of loadings. Various optical diagnostic techniques are employed to investigate the flame characteristics of a SPRF combustor operating with premixed natural gas and air at atmospheric pressure. These include simultaneous Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) imaging of OH radicals, chemiluminescence imaging, Spontaneous Raman Scattering. The results indicate that the combustor has two stabilization regions, with the primary region downstream of the injector where there are low average velocities and high turbulence levels where most of the heat release occurs. High turbulence level in the shear layers lead to increased product recirculation levels, elevating the reaction rates and thereby, the combustor stability. The effect of product entrainment on the chemical timescales and the flame structure is quantified using simple reactor models. Turbulent flame structure analysis indicates that the flame is primarily in the thin reaction zones regime throughout the combustor. The flame tends to become more flamelet like, however, for increasing distance from the injector.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.