Modern Micro Gas Turbines must be capable to operate at different load points, in order to fulfill the demand of Combined Heat and Power for which they are designed. The combustion chamber structures are therefore subjected to regularly variable thermal loads, yet remaining physically constrained at the rest of the structure. Hence, they experience variable metal temperatures, temperature gradients and thermal stresses which can lead to thermal failure. Typical failure mechanisms in combustion chambers are fatigue and creep. Oxidation can also play an important role.
In the present study, Computational Fluid Dynamics methods are used for validation of flow prediction, combustion and heat transfer of an atmospheric combustion chamber. Convective and radiative heat losses towards the ambient are specifically taken into account, leading to better agreement with experimental data from preceding studies. The comparison is presented in this paper. The real-scale machine-operated combustion chamber is then tested at its nominal high-pressure conditions. In this respect, the hereby validated numerical models are employed to simulate the high-pressure operation. A fully coupled Thermo-Structural analysis is performed in order to account for heat fluxes within the solid materials. By so doing, wall temperature distributions can be obtained.
The results from Fluid Dynamics simulations serve as input for a Finite Elements Analysis, which provides equivalent stress, strain and deformation distributions by using a linear elastic mechanical model. Such distributions highlight the most critical areas, allowing a first estimate of the components’ life according to thermo-mechanical fatigue. The additional influence of Creep and Oxidation is currently under development at DLR Stuttgart and will be presented in subsequent works.