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Research Papers

Comparison of Flow and Heat Transfer Distributions in a Can Combustor for Radial and Axial Swirlers Under Cold Flow Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Andrew Carmack

e-mail: acarmack@vt.edu

Srinath Ekkad

e-mail: sekkad@vt.edu
HEFT Lab, ME VT,
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Ram Srinivasan

Solar Turbines, Inc.,
San Diego, CA 92101

Manuscript received September 14, 2012; final manuscript received February 14, 2013; published online July 15, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Bengt Sunden.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 5(3), 031012 (Jul 15, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: TSEA-12-1154; doi: 10.1115/1.4023890 History: Received September 14, 2012; Revised February 14, 2013

A comparison study between axial and radial swirler performance in a gas turbine can combustor was conducted by investigating the correlation between combustor flow field geometry and convective heat transfer at cold flow conditions for Reynolds numbers of 50,000 and 80,000. Flow velocities were measured using particle image velocimetry (PIV) along the center axial plane and radial cross sections of the flow. It was observed that both swirlers produced a strong rotating flow with a reverse flow core. The axial swirler induced larger recirculation zones at both the backside wall and the central area as the flow exits the swirler, and created a much more uniform rotational velocity distribution. The radial swirler however, produced greater rotational velocity as well as a thicker and higher velocity reverse flow core. Wall heat transfer and temperature measurements were also taken. Peak heat transfer regions directly correspond to the location of the flow as it exits each swirler and impinges on the combustor liner wall.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Experimental test setup (dimensions in centimeters)

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Fig. 2

3D CAD model of axial swirler

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Fig. 3

3D CAD model of radial swirler (left) and vane configuration cross section (right)

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Fig. 4

Can combustor model with viewports used for heat transfer measurements

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Fig. 5

Diagram of surface heater system

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Fig. 6

Radial velocity distributions produced by the axial swirler (top row) and the radial swirler (bottom row) at radial cross-sectional planes at X/D locations of 2 (far left), 3 (middle left), 5 (middle right), and 10 (far right) at Re = 50,000 (scale in m/s)

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Fig. 7

Radial velocity distributions produced by the axial swirler (top row) and the radial swirler (bottom row) at radial cross-sectional planes at X/D locations of 2 (far left), 3 (middle left), 5 (middle right), and 10 (far right) at Re = 80,000 (scale in m/s)

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Fig. 8

Axial velocity distributions produced by the axial swirler (top) and the radial swirler (bottom) along the center axial plane of the combustor at Re = 50,000 (scale in m/s)

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Fig. 9

Axial velocity distributions produced by the axial swirler (top) and the radial swirler (bottom) along the center axial plane of the combustor at Re = 80,000 (scale in m/s)

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Fig. 10

Combustor entrance velocity comparison between the axial swirler (left) and the radial swirler (right) at Re = 50,000 (scale in m/s)

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Fig. 11

Heat transfer distribution for flow at Re = 50,000 through the axial (top) and radial (bottom) swirlers with flow direction from left to right

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Fig. 12

Heat transfer distribution for flow at Re = 80,000 through the axial (top) and radial (bottom) swirlers with flow direction from left to right

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Fig. 13

Nusselt number distribution along combustor wall with reference to combustor diameter for axial and radial swirlers at Re = 50,000 and Re = 80,000

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