The influence of dump gap on external combustor aerodynamics at high fuel injector flow rates

2010-01-28T13:48:35Z (GMT) by Duncan Walker Jon Carrotte Jim McGuirk
The increasing demand to reduce fuel burn, hence CO2 emissions, from the gas turbine requires efficient diffusion to reduce the system pressure loss in the combustor. However, interactions between prediffuser and combustor can have a significant effect on diffuser performance. For example, the consequence of increased fuel injector flow at a dump gap set using conventional design guidelines has been shown (Walker, A. D., Carrotte, J. F., and McGuirk, J. J., 2007. “Compressor/Diffuser/Combustor Aerodynamic Interactions in Lean Module Combustors,” ASME Turbo Expo 2007—Power for Land Sea and Air, Paper No. GT2007-27872) to introduce a destabilizing interaction between fuel injector and upstream components. The present paper concentrates on examining the effects of increased dump gap. Dump gap ratios of 0.8, 1.2, and 1.6 were employed, with each test utilizing the same inlet guide vane, compressor rotor, integrated outlet guide vane (OGV)/prediffuser, and dump geometry. The flow fraction of compressor efflux entering the combustor cowl was set to be representative of lean combustors (50–70%). Measurements were made on a fully annular rig using a generic flame tube with metered cowl and inner/outer annulus flows. The results demonstrate that, with fixed cowl flow, as the dump gap increases, component interactions decrease. At a dump gap ratio of 0.8, the proximity of the flame tube influences the prediffuser providing a beneficial blockage effect. However, if increased to 1.2, this beneficial effect is weakened and the prediffuser flow deteriorates. With further increase to 1.6, the prediffuser shows strong evidence of separation. Hence, at the dump gaps probably required for lean module injectors, it is unlikely the prediffuser will be influenced beneficially by the flame tube blockage; this must be taken into account in the design. Furthermore, with small dump gaps and high cowl flow fraction, the circumferential variation in cowl flow can feed upstream and cause OGV/rotor forcing. At larger dump gaps, the circumferential variation does not penetrate upstream to the OGV, and the rotor is unaffected. The optimum dump gap and prediffuser design for best overall aerodynamic system performance from rotor through to feed annuli is a compromise between taking maximum advantage of upstream blockage effects and minimizing any 3D upstream forcing.