Scale and geometry effects on heat-recirculating combustors

Chien-Hua Chen, Paul D. Ronney
2013 Combustion theory and modelling  
Scale and geometry effects on heat-recirculating combustors A simple analysis of linear and spiral counterflow heat-recirculating combustors was conducted to identify the dimensionless parameters expected to quantify the performance of such devices. A 3D numerical model of spiral counterflow "Swiss roll" combustors was then used to confirm and extend the applicability of the identified parameters. It was found that without property adjustment to maintain constant values of these parameters, at
more » ... ow Reynolds number (Re) smaller-scale combustors actually showed better performance (in terms of having lower lean extinction limits at the same Re) due to lower heat loss and internal wall-to-wall radiation effects, whereas at high Re, larger-scale combustors showed better performance due to longer residence time relative to chemical reaction time. By adjustment of property values, it was confirmed that four dimensionless parameters were sufficient to characterize combustor performance at all scales: Re, a heat loss coefficient (α), a Damköhler number (Da) and a radiative transfer number (R). The effect of diffusive transport effect (i.e. Lewis number) was found to be significant only at low Re. Substantial differences were found between the performance of linear and spiral combustors; these were explained in terms of the effects of the area exposed to heat loss to ambient and the sometimes detrimental effect of increasing heat transfer to adjacent outlet turns of the spiral exchanger. These results provide insight into the optimal design of small-scale combustors and choices of operation conditions.
doi:10.1080/13647830.2013.812807 fatcat:i2yul7h6v5cntk64l3p3kkf33q