Vortex generators are known to be effective in augmenting the mixing of fuel jets with air. The configuration investigated in this study is a tubular air passage with fuel injection from one single orifice placed in the side wall. In the range of typical gas turbine combustor inlet temperatures, the performance vortex generator premixers (VGPs) have already been investigated for natural gas as well as for blends of natural gas and hydrogen. However, for highly reactive fuels, the application of VGPs in recuperated gas turbines is particularly challenging because the high combustor inlet temperature leads to potential risk with regard to premature self-ignition and flame flashback. As the current knowledge does not cover the temperature range far above the self-ignition temperature, an experimental investigation of the operational limits of VGPs is currently being conducted at the Thermodynamics Institute of the Technical University of Munich, Garching, Germany, which is particularly focused on reactive fuels and the thermodynamic conditions present in recuperated gas turbines with pressure ratios of 4–5. For the study presented in this paper, an atmospheric combustion VGP test rig has been designed, which facilitates investigations in a wide range of operating conditions in order to comply with the situation in recuperated microgas turbines (MGT), namely, global equivalence ratios between 0.2 and 0.7, air preheating temperatures between 288 K and 1100 K, and air bulk flow rates between 6 and 16 g/s. Both the entire mixing zone in the VGP and the primary combustion zone of the test rig are optically accessible. High-speed OH* chemiluminescence imaging is used for the detection of the flashback and blow-off limits of the investigated VGPs. Flashback and blow-off limits of hydrogen in a wide temperature range covering the autoignition regime are presented, addressing the influences of equivalence ratio, air preheating temperature, and momentum ratio between air and hydrogen on the operational limits in terms of bulk flow velocity. It is shown that flashback and blow-off limits are increasingly influenced by autoignition in the ultrahigh temperature regime.

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