This paper reports about a high pressure combustion test rig which was designed and erected inside the laboratory of the Institute of Steam and Gas Turbine (IDG, RWTH Aachen University, Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dieter Bohn) in the time period from 1992. The first cold start-up was done to test and adjust the complex infrastructure including monitoring and control. The first hot start-up followed in May 2009 with a can-type combustor for a 7 MWel gas turbine. Thereafter, different gas turbine combustors have been tested and optimized with regard to NOx emission and combustor stability (see Tanaka et al. [1]).

This test rig is designed to conduct combustion tests with unscaled gas turbine combustors with a thermal power of up to 10 MW and exhaust gas temperatures of up to 1350°C. The test rig is capable of achieving air inlet conditions of up to 24 bar, 550°C and 12 kg/s.

After a successful phase of operation, the test rig has been continuously modified and upgraded at the Institute for Power Plant Technology, Steam and Gas Turbines (IKDG, RWTH Aachen University, Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Manfred Wirsum).

This paper introduces the current test rig. First, the test rig is classified in relation to similar test rigs by relevant literature. Thereafter, the test rig design and operation mode is presented in detail including a quality evaluation of the combustor inlet conditions. Furthermore, a steady-state simulation is set up. Based on its results, the theoretical operating ranges and limitations are identified and discussed.

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