Modern gas turbines call for an ultra-high firing temperature and fuel flexibility while keeping emissions at very low levels. Sequential combustion has demonstrated its advantages toward such ambitious targets.
A sequential combustion system, as deployed in the GT26 and GT36 engines, consists of two burners in series, the first one optimized to provide the optimum boundary condition for the second one, the sequential burner. This is the key component for the achievement of the required combustor performance dictated by F and H class engines, including versatile and robust operation with hydrogen-based fuels.
This paper describes the key development considerations used to establish a new sequential burner surpassing state-of-the-art hardware in terms of emission reduction, fuel flexibility and load flexibility. A novel multi-point injector geometry was deployed based on combustion and fluid dynamic considerations to maximize fuel / air mixing quality at minimum pressure loss. Water channel experiments complemented by CFD describe the evolution of the fuel / air mixture fraction through the mixing section and combustion chamber to enable operation with major NOx reduction. Furthermore, Laser Doppler Anemometry and Laser Induced Fluorescence were used to best characterize the interaction between hot-air and fuel and the fuel / air mixing in the most critical regions of the system. To complete the overview of the key development steps, mechanical integrity and manufacturing considerations based on additive manufacturing are also presented. The outcome of 1D, CFD and fluid dynamic experimental findings were then validated through full-scale, full-pressure combustion tests. These demonstrate the novel Center Body Burner is enabling operation at lower emissions, both at part load and full load conditions. Furthermore, the validation of the burner was also extended to hydrogen-based fuels with a variety of hydrogen / natural gas blends.