Three firing schemes for an industrial oxygen-fired glass melting furnace were examined to determine the thermal performance and relative merits of each scheme. A comprehensive computer model was used to investigate the effects of each scheme on the combustion and heat transfer in the furnace. The three-dimensional computer model, suitable for predicting and analyzing fluid flow, combustion and heat transfer has been used to simulate the combustion space of the furnace. The turbulent flow field is obtained by solving the Favre averaged Navier-Stokes equations and using the k-ε model to calculate the turbulent shear stresses and close the equation set. The combustion model consists of a single step, irreversible, infinitely fast reaction. A mixture fraction is used to track the mixing of fuel and oxidant and thus reaction progress in this mixing limited model. An assumed shape PDF method is utilized to account for turbulent fluctuations. Radiative heat transfer in the combustion gases and between surfaces is modeled using the discrete ordinates method coupled with the weighted-sum-of-gray-gases model. The model furnace for all three firing schemes was the same size and shape, was charged from the rear end wall and was pulled from the front wall. The three schemes investigated were: 1) non-interlaced side-wall fired, 2) interlaced side-wall fired, and 3) end fired. The results show that all three arrangements provide similar thermal performance and heat transfer characteristics. However, the flow field for the non-interlaced arrangement is very complex in the region where jets from opposing walls meet at the furnace center line. This type of jet interference can lead to unstable flow, particularly at the centerline of the furnace. Unstable flow conditions can affect the heat transfer characteristics of the furnace and make the furnace difficult to operate. Conversely, the interlaced and end-fired schemes do not exhibit the jet interference seen in the non-interlaced arrangement. While the results indicate that the thermal performance of all three arrangements were similar, the possibility of jet interference suggests that an interlaced or end-fired arrangement is preferable.

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