Constant and significant progress in both computer hardware and numerical algorithms, in recent years, have made it possible to investigate complex phenomena in engineering systems using computer modeling and simulations. Advanced numerical simulations can be treated as an extension of traditional analytical-theoretical analyses. In such cases, some of the simplifying assumptions can usually be dropped and the nonlinear interactions between various processes can be captured. One of the most complex engineering processes encountered in industry is a combustion process utilized either for power/thrust generation or incineration. However, even nowadays, because of the high level of complexity of the general problem of a combustion process in practical systems, it is not currently possible to simulate directly all the length and time scales of interest.

Simplifying assumptions still need to be made, but they can be less drastic than in analytical approaches. Therefore, another view of numerical simulations is as a tool to simulate idealized systems and conduct numerical experiments. Such numerical experiments can be complementary to laboratory experiments and can also provide more detailed, nonintrusive diagnostics. Therefore, simulations, along with theory and laboratory experiments, can provide a more complete picture and better understanding of a combustion process.

As an example of computer modeling of industrial combustion systems, an enclosed spray flame was considered. Such a flame can frequently be encountered in power generation units, turbine engines, and incinerators. Both the physical and mathematical models were formulated based on data from earlier laboratory studies and results obtained for open air spray flames. The purpose of this study was to use those data as model input to predict the characteristics of a confined flame and provide a means of optimizing the system design with a PC computer.

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