This paper presents the results of an investigation in which the fuel/air mixing process in a single slot within the radial swirler of a dry low emission (DLE) combustion system is explored using air/air mixing. Experimental studies have been carried out on an atmospheric test facility in which the test domain is a large-scale representation of a swirler slot from a Siemens DLE SGT-400 combustion system. Hot air with a temperature of 300°C is supplied to the slot, while the injected fuel gas is represented using air jets with temperatures of about 25°C. Temperature has been used as a scalar to measure the mixing of the jets with the cross-flow. The mixture temperatures were measured using thermocouples while Pitot probes were used to obtain local velocity measurements. The experimental data have been used to validate a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) mixing model.
Numerical simulations were carried out using CFD software ANSYS-CFX. Due to the complex three-dimensional flow structure inside the swirler slot, different RANS turbulence models were tested. The shear stress transport (SST) turbulence model was observed to give best agreement with the experimental data. The momentum flux ratio between the main air flow and the injected fuel jet, and the aerodynamics inside the slot, were both identified by this study as major factors in determining the mixing characteristics. It has been shown that mixing in the swirler can be significantly improved by exploiting the aerodynamic characteristics of the flow inside the slot. The validated CFD model provides a tool which will be used in future studies to explore fuel/air mixing at engine conditions.