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CICS Conference Paper

CICS Conference Paper

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Published by: Girish Venkata Nivarti on Jan 13, 2012
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 ————————————————————————————Proceedings of Combustion Institute - Canadian SectionSpring Technical MeetingCarleton University, OttawaMay 9-12, 2010 ———————
Numerical simulation of turbulent bluff-body stabilized methane-aircombustion
N. V. Girish
a,
1
, M. Mahdi Salehi
b
, W. K. Bushe
b
a
 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India - 721 302
b
 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - V6T 1Z4
1. Introduction
With the growing need to reduce pollutant emissions from automobile engines, lean combustion is being preferredover burning of fuel in an oxygen rich atmosphere. Lean combustion has a reduced output of oxides of nitrogen (N
O
x
)which are considered highly toxic. Thus, the need to understand lean premixed combustion regimes at a theoreticaland fundamental level is more important than ever. Numerical simulations of turbulent flames can be used to aid theimprovement of designs of engines and turbines in turn increasing their efficiency.Turbulent combustion is a process that is inherently complicated by the presence of diverse time and length scales.However, the ubiquity of combustion in domains ranging from automobile engines to aircraft turbines, has attractedscientists to study it deeply and understand flames better. Simulations of turbulent combustion typically require ap-proximate numerical solutions of the set of governing equations which are non-linear. The solutions of these equationsare often a compromise between numerical accuracy and computational time, and depending on the chosen algorithmprovide either averaged results as from the solution of Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) equations, resultsobtained by solving the filtered equations of Large Eddy Simulation (LES) or exact solutions of the equations offeredby Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS). The large number of degrees of freedom of the problem renders DNS as animpracticable approach for industrially relevant problems, and therefore, averaging and filtering techniques that offerfaster but less accurate solutions are necessary.Averaging (RANS) or filtering (LES) non-linear equations results in creation of unclosed terms that either need tobe solved using transport equations or appropriately modeled on the basis of physical reasoning and associated math-ematical equations. Reactive flows pose an additional challenge as they include chemical reaction equations, besidesthe conventional Navier-Stokes equations, which introduce an unclosed chemical source term as well. The modelsfor turbulent combustion rely on various techniques involving algebraic models[1], flamelet models[2], Conditional Moment Closure (CMC)[3]and transported PDF methods[4]. Algebraic models are often unsuccessful in predicting concentrations of minor species[1](including important pollutants such as NO). Other models give a more general solution for the turbulent closure problem, although they require other assumptions, include unclosed terms and hencehave their own limitations.Within the flamelet regime, the structure of a laminar unstrained premixed flame can be viewed as a thin flameleti.e. the reacting surfaces can be assumed to be parallel to each other[2]. This way chemical reaction rates of different species in a one-dimensional laminar unstrained premixed flame can be stored as a function of a reaction progressvariable. Given the progress variable, the reaction rates at each point within the thin flame can be acquired. This is alow dimensional approximation for the hyper-dimensional chemistry manifold in composition space. This method iscalled Flame Prolongation of the Intrinsic low dimensional manifold (FPI)[5]. In an actual turbulent flow simulation, a shape is assumed for the probability density function of reaction progress variable. This presumed PDF is a function of the mean and variance of the reaction progress variable for which transport equations are solved. Since the chemistryis tabulated as a function of this variable, the mean chemical reaction source terms can be closed by integrating the
1
Corresponding author: nvgirish@iitkgp.ac.in, nvgirishs@gmail.com
 
FPI values over the PDF. This method has been used with RANS modeling of turbulence[6],[7]and with LES and DNS[8]. In this work, a bluff-body stabilized methane-air flame[9]has been simulated using the above mentioned presumed PDF and a simple turbulence closure model (k-
ε
)[10]. The conical bluff-body creates a stabilizing recirculation zone localised near the stagnation region downstream of the bluff-body. Radial profiles obtained from simulations fordifferent variables (temperature, velocity) and mass fractions of chemical species in this region have been comparedto experimental observations.
2. Theory
Turbulent combustion modeling aims to provide closures for the unclosed terms arising from Reynolds averaging of the balance equations. These terms have been described briefly as follows:1. Terms involving molecular diffusion are often approximated to zero as they are negligible compared to turbulenttransport. Also, the last three terms in the energy equation are usually neglected in RANS models.2. The Reynolds stress tensor (
u
′′
i
u
′′
j
) is closed using turbuelence models. This may involve single or two-equationmodels that approximate the tensor or transport equations, as in the RST Models. In this paper, the k-
ε
tur-bulence model has been used to approximate this term. In this model two transport equations are solved for
k
and
ε
, which are used to compute the turbulent viscosity
ν 
t
. The Reynolds stress tensor is then calculatedfrom the Boussinesq assumption[10]which relates the Reynolds stress tensor to the velocity gradients via the turbulent viscosity by introducing an assumption for the diffusion term in the averaged Navier-Stokes equationfor momentum.
ν 
t
=
µ
k
1
/
2
l
=
µ
k
2
ε
u
′′
i
u
′′
j
=
ν 
t
∂ 
u
i
∂x
j
(1)3. Turbulent convection transport terms (
u
′′
j
′′
k
and
u
′′
j
h
′′
) are closed using gradient transport equations:
¯
ρ
u
′′
j
′′
k
=
µ
t
Sc
k
∂ 
¯
k
∂x
j
where the Scmidt number,
Sc
k
=
µρD
k
(2)4. The mean chemical source term (
˙
ω
k
) is closed using different techniques; algebraic models, flamelet approach,CMC and transported PDF method. In this paper, a flamelet model has been adopted.In order to close the mean chemical source term (
˙
ω
) a statistical approach has been adopted. In turbulent premixedcombustion, flame fluctuations in temperature, and species mass fractions are easily compared to a progress variablethat quantifies the extent to which the combustion process has completed. A species based progress variable is definedin such a way that c = 0 in fresh gases, and c = 1 in burnt gases. The progress variable is defined as:
c
=
 p
 p,eq
(3)where
 p
is the mass fraction of one or more product species - CO
2
is used in the current work - and
 p,eq
is the valueof mass fraction of that product after complete combustion, i.e. in burnt gases. Further steps in the numerical modelingof the problem using the PDF function require knowledge of the PDF and its functional form by presuming a shape forthe PDF. Since the probability to find all possible values of c is equal to unity, the integral of the PDF over the entirespace must balance unity. Also, the zeroth, first and second moments of 
c
must satisfy the following relations:
 
10
(
c
)
dc
= 1
 
1
c
c
(
c
)
dc
=
c
 
1
c
(
c
c
)
2
(
c
)
dc
=
c
′′
2
(4)where
(
c
)
is the Favre PDF:
(
c
) =
ρ
|
c
¯
(
c
)
/
¯
ρ
. Using the above three relations and knowing the mean andvariance of reaction progress variable, a the presumed shape for the PDF can be formed. A flame prolonged ILDM(FPI) chemistry table is generated by solving transport equations for conservation of momentum and energy in a steady
 
one-dimensional laminar unstrained premixed flame. For an adiabatic 1D flame, the chemistry is only a function of the progress variable. Knowing the PDF of progress variable, the averaged reaction rates can be calculated by a simpleintegration:
˙
ω
=
 
10
˙
ω
|
c
¯
(
c
)
dc
=
 
10
˙
ω
FPI
(
c
)¯
(
c
)
dc
(5)where
˙
ω
FPI
(
c
)
is the chemical source-term from the one-dimensional FPI calculation expressed as a function of progress variable. Two PDFs have been considered; the
β 
PDF which presumes the shape of the
β 
function, and amodified form of the laminar flamelet PDF proposed by Bray et al.[11].
1.
β 
-PDF 
:
¯
(
c
;
x
,t
) =(
c
)
a
1
(1
c
)
b
1
β 
(
a,b
)
β 
(
a,b
) =
 
10
(
c
)
a
1
(1
c
)
b
1
dc
(6)The two parameters a and b are functions of local mean and variance:
a
= ˜
c
˜
c
(1
˜
c
)
c
′′
2
1
0
b
=
a
1˜
c
1
0
(7)
2. Modified Laminar flamelet PDF 
: A laminar flamelet shape for the PDF proposed by Bray et al.[11]is defined as:
(
c
;
x
,t
) =
(
c
) +
Bf 
(
c
) +
(1
c
)
(8)where coeffecients A, B and C are calculated from Eq.4and
(
c
)
is calculated using the solution of an unstrainedlaminar flame:
(
c
) =1
|∇
c
|
.
(9)The modification aims to use only the relevant portions of the PDF to the turbulent flame in consideration. Thepositions in the turbulent flame corresponding to the minimum and maximum values of progress variable
c
aremapped to the corresponding positions in the PDF. Accordingly the portions of the PDF that are not significant maybe truncated to zero. The PDF is in the form of a look-up table wherein values of the PDF for an unstrained laminarflame are stored at specified constant intervals of progress variable space. This is tabulated with the help of a the flameprolongation of ILDM (FPI).For a given range of 
˜
c
and
c
′′
2
and an FPI chemistry, the PDF is formed and the meanreaction rates are integrated and stored
apriori
as an FPI-PDF table.A standard
k
ε
turbulence model with the modification of the
ε
1
= 1
.
6
[10]is used. This modification helps taking into account the effect of an extra dissipation due to vortex stretching in an axi-symmetric jet. Thetransport equations for
˜
c
,
c
′′
2
,
˜
k
and
˜
ε
are solved along with the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes equations. Energyconservation is applied in solving a transport equation for the average total enthalpy assuming an adiabatic flame.Transport equations for the average mass fraction of major species,
i.e.
CH
4
, O
2
, H
2
O, H
2
, CO
2
and CO, are solvedusing gradient assumption for turbulent scalar flux and the FPI-PDF technique for modelling mean reaction rates.
3. Experimental Setup Considered
The experimental flame of Nandula et al.[9]has been simulated. It is a lean premixed bluff body-stabilized flame confined in a chamber with a rounded-square cross section. The methane-air mixture enters the burner through anannular ring, surrounding a circular obstacle that acts as a bluff body. A zone of recirculation is produced downstreamof the bluff body in which the entrapped hot products serve to stabilize the flame. Eddies produced due to interactionwith the bluff body help in allowing the reactants and products to mix adequately, and hence support the reactingflame. The flame has an equivalence ratio of 0.586.
4. Numerical Approach
The domain, a combustor having square cross-section (75cm x 75cm), was approximated as a cylindrical domain of diameter 75cm. A wedge section, half the diameter of the cylinder was meshed with cell numbers of 4800, 8000and 10800. FlameMaster[12]was used to obtain the solution of the one-dimensional laminar unstrained premixed

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