Computational Study of Cycle-­to-­Cycle Variation in Dual-­Fuel Engines

PI Ravichandra Jupudi, General Electric Global Research
Project Description

Premixed staged combustion (PSC), where fuel is burned in stages, is a new technology that has  the  potential  to  improve  efficiency  while  reducing  pollutant  formation  in  combustion  turbine  design.    Advanced  engine  designs  from  multiple  gas  turbine  companies  already incorporate this technology.  However, a deeper understanding of the unique interactions between turbulence and combustion chemistry that occur in this reaction regime is needed to advance combustor technology and deliver higher gas turbine efficiency.

This  project  will  use  leadership-­class  computing  resources  at  Oak  Ridge  National  Laboratory in a multi-­pronged effort to characterize this important combustion regime and accelerate its application to industrial gas turbine engines. The project is organized in three stages:

1.    Assess the performance of current state-­of-­the-­art modeling approaches for PSC
2.    Explore poorly understood regions of the PSC state space
3.    Apply learning and understanding to impact realistic gas turbine engines

In  stage 1,  existing  modeling  approaches  will  be  evaluated  to  assess  their  performance  in  PSC regimes. This task will harness the vast computing power of Titan to compute detailed combustion  simulations  to  answer  fundamental  questions  about  how  turbulence  and  chemistry interact in canonical PSC configurations. Results from engineering models will be compared with the detailed simulations and with experiments to identify the most effective modeling approaches for the conditions in today’s gas turbine engines. Stage 2 will use high-­fidelity  large-­eddy  simulations  to  explore  combustion  regimes  that  are  relevant  to  where gas  turbine  engines  are  heading  in  the  near  future,  including  higher  pressures,  shorter  residence  times,  and  more  intense  turbulence.  Finally,  in  stage  3,  realistic  engineering configurations for PSC will be explored using high performance computing.  The results of these  simulation  will  provide  the  fundamental  understanding  required  to  use  premixed  stage combustion effectively in future combustion turbine designs.