Research Papers

A Critical Evaluation of Turbulence Modeling in a Model Combustor

[+] Author and Article Information
Leiyong Jiang

Institute for Aerospace Research,
National Research Council Canada,
1200 Montreal Road, M-10,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0RG6, Canada
e-mail: leiyong.jiang@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Manuscript received February 11, 2012; final manuscript received September 11, 2012; published online June 24, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Srinath V. Ekkad.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 5(3), 031002 (Jun 24, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: TSEA-12-1024; doi: 10.1115/1.4023306 History: Received February 11, 2012; Revised September 11, 2012

Based on the previous benchmark studies on combustion, scalar transfer, and radiation models, a critical evaluation of turbulence models in a propane-air diffusion flame combustor with interior and exterior conjugate heat transfers has been performed. Results obtained from six turbulence models are presented and compared in detail with a comprehensive database obtained from a series of experimental measurements. It is found that the Reynolds stress model (RSM), a second moment closure, is superior over the five popular eddy-viscosity two-equation models. Although the main flow patterns are captured by all six turbulence models, only the RSM is able to successfully predict the lengths of both recirculation zones and give fairly accurate predictions for mean velocity, temperature, CO2 and CO mole fractions, as well as turbulence kinetic energy in the combustor chamber. In addition, the realizable k-ε (Rk-ε) model illustrates better performance than four other two-equation models and can provide comparable results to those from the RSM for the configuration and operating conditions considered in the present study.

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Fig. 3

Exterior wall temperature profiles of the computational domain

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Fig. 2

Computational domain and mesh

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Fig. 1

The model combustor

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Fig. 4

Axial velocity contours and flow path-lines

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Fig. 5

Axial velocities along the combustor centerline

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Fig. 6

Axial velocity profiles at cross-sections, x = 20–240 mm

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Fig. 7

Turbulence kinetic energy profiles at sections, x = 60–240 mm

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Fig. 8

Temperature contours and flow path-lines

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Fig. 11

CO2 profiles at cross-sections, x = 21–291 mm

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Fig. 9

Temperature profiles along the combustor centerline

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Fig. 10

Temperature profiles at cross-sections, x = 52–353 mm

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Fig. 12

CO profiles at cross-sections, x = 21–291 mm



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