Design, simulation, and validation of additively manufactured high-temperature combustion chambers for micro gas turbines

Adamos Adamou, Jamie Turner, Aaron Costall, Andy Jones, Colin Copeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The demand for cleaner, more efficient, and durable sources of electricity is driving research into small-scale power generation. Micro gas turbines are especially suitable by virtue of their high power density and reliability, but a major drawback is their poor overall efficiency due to increasing parasitic energy losses relative to net power output as size decreases. Additive manufacturing offers design freedoms that could enable higher efficiency and lower emission combustors for micro gas turbine applications. A novel conical radial swirl-stabilized tubular combustor with internal vane fuel injection is designed and tested, and a validated reacting computational fluid dynamics model is used to design novel combustor features that can only be additively manufactured. Of the five different concepts tested, those benefitting from additively manufactured features outperform the traditional design in terms of peak temperature control and fuel–air mixing, translating to striking reductions in pollutant emissions, with up to 75% and 40% reductions in nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxides, respectively, while concepts incorporating upstream fuelling and a three-row lattice show a near 20% increase in mixture quality. As well as evaluating a number of novel and very promising additively manufactured combustor design features, this work provides guidance on the incorporation of additively manufactured features in combustors for any gas turbine application and demonstrates the clear benefits of additive manufacturing for low-emission combustor design.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114805
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Volume248
Early online date5 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Oct 2021

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