To achieve ultra low NOx emission as well as high efficiency for industrial burners, premixed or partial premixed combustion technology is becoming more attractive than flue gas recirculation approaches, which tend to cause low combustion stability and low energy use efficiency. A well designed premixed combustion system can achieve lower and more uniform combustion zone temperatures thus resulting in reduced thermal NOx generation. A multi-stage premixed industrial scale gas burner with oil backup capability has been developed by the authors, with the assistance from CFD simulation. By using staged combustion, combustion heat release is better distributed into a larger volume to avoid high peak flame temperature zone to occur. By using a primary stage combustion with a fuel rich flame and a hot high emissive metallic chamber wall, the burner combustion stability is ensured. The CFD tool was used to simulate and optimize the whole burner combustion and heat transfer process, with proper fluid dynamics and reaction models for this full size burner development. With the CFD efforts, the final burner design can achieve a very uniform temperature field, with peak flame temperatures below 1650°C, therefore thermal NOx generation is minimized. The numerical results show that this new gas-fired burner can achieve high efficiency with low NOx emission. Using the CFD simulation tool, the burner global parameters, such as its peak flame temperatures, its exhaust flue gas temperatures, and its NOx concentration distributions, have been studied under different burner operation conditions, e.g., different excess air levels, different burner firing rates, and different mixture inlet temperatures. The CFD simulation tool has been proved a good assistance for the burner design, as well as the burner performance optimization.

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