To address the complex effect of inlet parameters on combustor performance, a statistically based technique is applied to a model, premixed natural gas fired combustor. In this way, multiple parameters are simultaneously investigated for their contribution to combustion performance. Atmospheric tests are performed at conditions otherwise representative of industrial combustors: 670 K. inlet preheat and an equivalence ratio of 0.47. Experimental results, in combination with CFD modeling, reveal that (1) the statistical approach is an effective tool by which parameters that dominate performance can be identified, (2) the principal statistically significant parameter linked to NOx production is the inlet fuel distribution, (3) the principal statistically significant parameter linked to CO production is swirl solidity, and (4) an inlet fuel distribution that features a concentration peak in line with the shear layer of the recirculation zone yields NOx levels comparable to a well premixed case.

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