The most uncertain and challenging part in the design of a gas turbine has long been the combustion chamber. There has been large number of experimentations in industries and universities alike to better understand the dynamic and complex processes that occur inside a combustion chamber. This study concentrates on gas turbine combustors as a whole, and formulates a theoretical design procedure for staged combustors in particular. Not much of literatures available currently in public domain provide intensive study on designing staged combustors. The work covers an extensive study of design methods applied in conventional combustor designs, which includes the reverse flow combustor and the axial flow annular combustors. The knowledge acquired from this study is then applied to develop a theoretical design methodology for double staged (radial and axial) low emission annular combustors. Additionally a model combustor is designed for each type; radial and axial staging using the developed methodology. A prediction of the performance for the model combustors is executed. The main conclusion is that the dimensions of model combustors obtained from the developed design methodology are within the feasibility limits. The comparison between the radially staged and the axially staged combustor has yielded the predicted results such as lower NOx prediction for the latter and shorter combustor length for the former. The NOx emission result of the new combustor models are found to be in the range of 50–60ppm. However the predicted NOx results are only very crude and need further detailed study.

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