This paper presents a comprehensive experimental investigation of a newly designed single-stage combustion system based on the flameless oxidation (FLOX®) technology for a small scale micro gas turbine (MGT). It is used for a combined heat and power plant (CHP) with an electrical power output of 3 kW, using natural gas as fuel. Flameless oxidation is characterized by a flame distributed over a large volume and a high internal recirculation of flue gas. Considering the high combustor inlet temperatures up to 1000 K as required for this application, the FLOX®-combustion concept offers various advantages compared to swirl-stabilized combustion systems in terms of flashback risk and exhaust gas emissions.
This paper describes the detailed characterization of the jet-stabilized combustor. Two versions of the combustor were tested, one generic and one modified version suitable for the integration into the micro gas turbine at an atmospheric test rig with optical access. The stable operating range, including lean blow out (LBO) limits, was determined for varying equivalence ratios, thermal powers and preheat temperatures. The influence of these parameters on the combustion characteristics is discussed. Furthermore, the shape and location of the heat release zone is investigated with OH*-chemiluminescence (OH* CL). The exhaust gas emissions NOx, CO and unburned hydrocarbon (UHC) were also measured.
The results demonstrate that the developed combustor design ensures stable and reliable performance. It also offers a high operational flexibility and low pressure loss with NOx, CO and UHC emissions far below regulation limits for all relevant engine conditions.