The international effort to reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation, especially CO2-emissions requires considerations about alternative energy supply systems. An effective step towards low pollution power generation is the application of hydrogen as a possible alternative gas turbine fuel, if the hydrogen is produced by renewable energy sources, such as wind energy or biomass. The use of hydrogen and hydrogen rich gases as a fuel for industrial applications and power generation combined with the control of polluted emissions, especially NOx, is a major key driver in the design of future gas turbine combustors.

The micromix combustion principle allows a secure and low NOx combustion of hydrogen and air and achieves a significant reduction of NOx-emissions. The combustion principle is based on cross-flow mixing of air and gaseous pure hydrogen and burns in multiple miniaturized diffusion-type flames. For the characterization of the jet in cross-flow mixing process, the momentum flux ratio is used.

The paper presents an experimental analysis of the momentum flux ratio’s impact on flame anchoring and on the resultant formation of the NOx-emissions. Therefore several prototype test burner with different momentum flux ratios are tested under preheated atmospheric conditions. The investigation shows that the resultant positioning and anchoring of the micro flames highly influences the NOx-formation.

Besides the experimental investigations, numerical simulations have been performed by the application of a commercial CFD code. The cold flow simulation results show the mixing of the air and hydrogen after the injection, in particular in the Counter Rotating Vortices (CRV). Furthermore, the hydrogen jet interacts also with another vortex system resulting from a wake flow area behind the combustor geometry. Furthermore, reacting flow simulations have been performed by the application of a Hybrid Eddy Break-Up (EBU) combustion model. The combustion pressure has been varied from atmospheric conditions up to a pressure of 16 bar.

The experimental and numerical results highlight further potential of the micromix combustion principle for low NOx-combustion of hydrogen in industrial gas turbine applications.

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