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COMBUSTION CHAMBERS AND PERFORMANCE

COMBUSTION CHAMBER: Combustion in the normal, open cycle, gas turbine is a continuous process in which fuel is burned in the air supplied by the compressor, an electric spark is required only for initiating the combustion process, and thereafter the flames must be self-sustaining. Combustion process occurs with the vaporized fuel and air mixed on a molecular scale. The principle requirements for a combustion chamber are: 
Low weight and small frontal area  Low pressure loss  Stable and efficient combustion over the operating flight altitudes and speeds  Reliability, serviceability and reasonable life  Through mixing of hot and cold fluid streams to give a uniform temperature distribution throughout the final mixture arriving at the inlet to the turbine. Combustion chambers must be designed to ensure stable combustion of the fuel injected and optimum fuel utilization within the limited space available and over a large range of air/fuel ratios. The combustion chamber design depends on the application and requirements in each case.

CLASSIFICATION OF COMBUSTION CHAMBERS: Combustion chambers have undergone continuous development over the past 50 years, resulting in the evolution of a verity of basic combustion chamber. They may be broadly classified into one of the three types, namely 
Can combustion chambers  Can-annular combustion chambers  Annular combustion chambers

Each flame tube has its own secondary air duct.  low development cost  favorable aerodynamic conditions in the flame tube  favorable fuel distribution  Good accessibility for servicing. Each chamber has its own fuel jet called injectors from a common supplier. ADVANTAGES:  The major advantage of can type combustion chambers was that development could be carried out on a single can using only a fraction of the overall air flow and fuel flow. They can be easily removed for maintenance and provide convenient plumbing for fuel.CAN COMBUSTION CHAMBERS: A can combustion chamber consists of one or more cylinder burners. each contained in a burner case. .  Ignition problems may occur.  A disadvantage of this design consists in the unfavorable inflow/outflow ratios and the associated large size. The air leaving the compressor is split into a number of separate streams. Can-type combustion chambers are particularly suitable for engines with centrifugal-flow compressors as the airflow is already divided by the compressor outlet diffusers. Because of its modular design. the can system was used during the early development of the turbojet engine. each supplying in a separate chamber. The entire combustion section consists of 8 to 12 cans that are arranged around the engine. these types of combustion chambers are undesirable because of more weight. particularly at high altitudes. more volume and more frontal area. The separate flame tubes are all interconnected. Individual cans are also used combustion chambers for small engines or auxiliary power units. Can combustors look like cans and are mounted around the engine. DISADVANTAGES:  In aircraft application.

the individual flame tubes are uniformly spaced around an annular casing. All tubes have a common secondary air duct. In can-annular combustion chambers. the reverse flow nature of the airflow after leaving the diffuser downstream of the axial compressor is used. In this combustion system. .CAN-ANNULAR COMBUSTION CHAMBERS: A can-annular combustion chamber is a combination of a can type and annular combustion chambers.

DISADVANTAGES:  The aerodynamic properties are inferior to that of an annular combustor.ADVANTAGES:  The use of a reverse flow arrangement allows a significant reduction in the overall length of the compressor-turbine shaft and also permits easy access to the fuel nozzles and combustion cans maintenance. . small size and good ignition behavior. Annular combustion chambers are characterized by low pressure losses. Annular combustion chambers are open at the front to the compressor and at the rear to the turbine and relatively short. ANNULAR COMBUSTION CHAMBER: Annular combustion chambers are suitable for engines with axial-flow compressors and low airflow rates. They are mainly used in gas turbine engines.  Development costs are lower and the volume smaller than with a cantype combustion chamber.  They are suitable for large engine and for mechanical reasons. The flame tube and both secondary air ducts are annular. engines with high pressure ratios.  The connectors between the individual flame tubes adversely affect the ignition behavior.

although recently some new requirements have evolved. IMPORTANT FACTORS AFFECTING COMBUSTION CHAMBER DESIGN: Over a period of five decades. however. has enabled permissible combustor outlet temperatures to rise from about 1100 K to as much as 1850 K for aircraft applications. .ADVANTAGES:  Low pressure losses  Small size  Good ignition behavior  More number of fuel jets DISADVANTAGES:  Maintenance and inspection are difficult. The key issues may be summarized as follows.  The temperature of the gases after combustion must be comparatively low to suit the highly stressed turbine materials.  Improper combustion due to uneven fuel air distribution. the basic factors influencing the design of combustion systems for gas turbines have not changed.  The development expenditure for an annular combustion chamber is high and calculations are more complicated than with a can-type combustion chamber since the flow is no longer two-dimensional.  It is structurally weaker. Development of improved materials and methods of blade cooling.

 In aircraft gas turbines. Smoke trails in flight were a problem for military aircraft. the performance of the gas turbine has been improved mainly by increasing the compressor pressure ratio and turbine inlet temperature (TIT). Another important requirement is the capability of relighting at high altitude in the event of an engine flame-out. permitting them to be seen from a great distance. combustion must also be stable over a wide range of chamber pressure because of the substantial change in this parameter with altitude and forward speed. sometimes close to residential areas. and this became a serious problem around airports when jet transport aircraft started to operate in large numbers. In practice. Over the years. Considering that the stoichiometric ratio is approximately 15: 1 it is clear that a high dilution is required to maintain the temperature level dictated by turbine stresses.  The formation of carbon deposits ('coking') must be avoided. the temperature can increase with radius over the turbine annulus.  Combustion must be maintained in a stream of air moving with a high velocity in the region of 30-60 m/s. because of the strong influence of temperature on allowable stress and the decrease of blade centrifugal stress from root to tip. The air/fuel ratio might vary from about 60: 1 to 120: 1 for simple cycle gas turbines and from 100: 1 to 200: I if a heat-exchanger is used. At the end of the combustion space the temperature distribution must be of known form if the turbine blades are not to suffer from local overheating.  Avoidance of smoke in the exhaust is of major importance for all types of gas turbine. Small particles carried into the turbine in the high velocity gas stream can erode the blades and block cooling air passages. Stationary gas turbines are now found in urban locations. furthermore. and stable operation is required over a wide range of air/fuel ratio from full load to idling conditions. early jet engines had very smoky exhausts. they produce pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx). particularly the hard brittle variety. carbon monoxide (CO) and unburned hydrocarbons (UHC) and these must be controlled to very low levels. Unfortunately this results in .  Although gas turbine combustion systems operate at extremely high efficiencies. aerodynamically excited vibration in the combustion chamber might cause sizeable pieces of carbon to break free resulting in even worse damage to the turbine.

to avoid chilling the flame . Combustion of a gaseous fuel involves fewer processes. the first essential is that the air should be introduced in stages. vaporization of the droplets. the breaking down of heavy hydrocarbons into lighter fractions. is necessary if all these processes are to occur sufficiently rapidly for combustion in a moving air stream to be completed in a small space. Since the overall air/fuel ratio is in the region of 100: 1. A high temperature. as follows  Primary zone  Intermediate/secondary zone  Territiary/dilution zone About 15-20% of the air is introduced around the jet of fuel in the primary zone to provide the necessary high temperature for rapid combustion. but much of what follows is still applicable. Three such stages can be distinguished. such as is provided by the combustion of an approximately stoichiometric mixture. the intimate mixing of molecules of these hydrocarbons with oxygen molecules. this air must be injected carefully at the right points in the process. while the stoichiometric ratio is approximately 15: I. For high combustion efficiency.increased production of NOx ' Ever more stringent emissions legislation has led to significant changes in combustor design to cope with the problem COMBUSTION PROCESS: Combustion of a liquid fuel involves the mixing of a fine spray of droplets with air. Some 40% of the total air is then introduced through holes in the flame-tube in the secondary zone to complete the combustion. and finally the chemical reactions themselves.

Finally. and the primary air is introduced through twisted radial vanes. Afterburners operate only for short periods of thrust-boosting. One American practice is to dispense with the swirl vanes and achieve the recirculation by a careful positioning of holes in the flame-tube downstream of a hemispherical baffle. One way of achieving this is typical of British practice. Many other solutions to the problem of obtaining a stable flame are possible. This vortex motion is sometimes enhanced by injecting the secondary air through short tangential chutes in the flame-tube. The problem in this case is to avoid local 'cracking' of the fuel in the vaporizer tubes with the formation of deposits of low thermal conductivity leading to overheating and burn-out. so that the resulting vortex motion will induce a region of low pressure along the axis of the chamber. The fuel system is much simpler. and they have been used in several successful aircraft engines. The net result is that the burning gases tend to flow towards the region of low pressure. A rich mixture of fuel vapours and air issues from the vaporizer tubes in the upstream direction to mix with the remaining primary air passing through holes in a baffle around the fuel supply pipes. and some portion of them is swept round towards the jet of fuel as indicated by the arrows. Vaporizer schemes are particularly well suited for annular combustors where it is inherently more difficult to obtain a satisfactory fuel-air distribution with sprays of droplets from high pressure injectors. however. The zonal method of introducing the air cannot by itself give a self-piloting flame in an air stream which is moving an order of magnitude faster than the flame speed in a burning mixture.locally and drastically reducing the reaction rate in that neighborhood. The fuel is injected in the same direction as the air stream. Sufficient turbulence must be promoted so that the hot and cold streams are thoroughly mixed to give the desired outlet temperature distribution. The second essential feature is therefore a recirculating flow pattern which directs some of the burning mixture in the primary zone back on to the incoming fuel and air. A vaporizer system wherein the fuel is injected at low pressure into walking -stick shaped tubes placed in the primary zone. and upstream injection is employed more for afterburners (or 'reheat') in the jetpipe of aircraft engines than in main combustion systems. the remaining air is mixed with the products of combustion to cool them down to the temperature required at inlet to the turbine. and the difficulty of arranging for an adequate distribution of fine droplets over the whole operating range of fuel flow is overcome. The original walking-stick shaped tubes have been replaced in modem engines by more compact and mechanically rugged T-shape vaporizers describe the history of vaporizer development at Rolls Royce. instead of through plain holes as in the figure. . known as swirl vanes. in the tertiary/dilution zone. with no hot streaks which would damage the turbine blades. It is difficult to avoid overheating the fuel injector.

for any given temperature rise. The stagnation pressure drop associated with the latter. it is clearly difficult to prevent some chilling from taking place. a simple equation for the pressure drop can be found as follows. incomplete combustion may be caused by local chilling of the flame at points of secondary air entry. A pressure force (¨p x A) must be present to impart the increase in momentum. often called the fundamental loss. If devices are used to increase large-scale turbulence and so distribute the secondary air more uniformly throughout the burning gases. and the temperature at the downstream end of the chamber is normally below that at which the burning of these products can be expected to take place. and P02 ± p01 = (p2 ± p1) + 1/2(ȡ2 C22-ȡ1 C12 ) Combining these equations. The stagnation pressure drop in this situation. arises because an increase in temperature implies a decrease in density and consequently an increase in velocity and momentum of the stream. Combustion chamber pressure loss is due to two distinct causes: (i) skin friction and turbulence and (ii) The rise in temperature due to combustion. Since the lighter hydrocarbons into which the fuel has decomposed have a higher ignition temperature than the original fuel. . particularly if space is limited and the secondary air cannot be introduced gradually enough.Having described the way in which the combustion process is accomplished. it is now possible to see how incomplete combustion and pressure losses arise. When not due simply to poor fuel injector design leading to fuel droplets being carried along the flame-tube wall. When the velocity is low and the fluid flow can be treated as incompressible (in the sense that although ȡ is a function of T it is independent of p). remembering that m = ȡ1 AC1 = ȡ2 AC2 . The momentum equation for one-dimensional frictionless flow in a duct of constant cross-sectional area A is A (p2 ± p1) + m (C2 ± C1 ) = 0 For incompressible flow the stagnation pressure p0 is simply (p + pC2 /2). P02 ± p01 = . One of the standard idealized cases considered in gas dynamics is that of a heated gas stream flowing without friction in a duct of constant cross-sectional area. This can easily reduce the reaction rate to the point where some of the products into which the fuel has decomposed are left in their partially burnt state.(ȡ2 C22 ± ȡ1 C12) + 1/2(ȡ2 C22 ± ȡ1 C12) = -1/2(ȡ2 C22 ± ȡ1 C12) The stagnation pressure loss as a fraction of the inlet dynamic head then becomes (p01-p02)/( ȡ1 C12/2)=(( ȡ2 C22/ȡ1 C12)-1)=((ȡ1/ ȡ2)-1) . A satisfactory compromise must somehow be reached. can be predicted with the aid of the Rayleigh-line functions. the combustion efficiency will be improved but at the expense of increased pressure loss.

Usually it is found that adequate mixing is obtained merely by injecting air through circular or elongated holes in the flame-tube. Similarly. Sufficient penetration of the cold air jets into the hot stream is achieved as a result of the cold air having the greater density. Turbulence of this kind is created by the devices used to stabilize the flame. In general. That the friction loss is so high. it is clear that the fundamental loss is only about 1-2 inlet dynamic heads. Here again a compromise must be reached: this time between uniformity of outlet temperature distribution and low pressure loss. When measured by pitot traverses at inlet and outlet with no combustion taking place. Thus. e. In addition. the swirl vanes. the result is sufficiently accurate to provide us with the order of magnitude of the fundamental loss. The length of duct is often greater in an industrial gas turbine and the temperature distribution at the turbine inlet may be more unifonn. although at the expense of increased pressure drop due to skin friction in the ducting. and the compromise reached between good temperature distribution and low pressure loss is normally such that the temperature non uniformity is up to 10 per cent of the mean value. The need for good mixing of the secondary air with the burning gases to avoid chilling has been emphasized.Finally. is due to the need for large-scale turbulence.g. good mixing of the dilution air to avoid hot streaks in the turbine is essential. The pressure loss due to friction is found to be very much higher-of the order of 20 inlet dynamic heads. there is the turbulence induced by the jets of secondary and dilution air. the more effective the mixing the higher the pressure loss. it is known as the cold loss. . The pressure loss produced by such a mixing process is associated with the change in momentum of the streams before and after mixing. At this condition T2/T1 = T02/T01. since the outlet/inlet temperature ratio is in the region of 2-3. Although the assumptions of incompressible flow and constant crosssectional area are not quite true for a combustion chamber. (p01-p02)/( ȡ1 C12/2)=((T2/T1)-1) This the same as the compressible flow value of (p01-p02)/(p01-p1) in the limiting case of zero inlet Mach number. since ȡ Į 1/T for incompressible flow. In aircraft gas turbines the duct between combustion chamber outlet and turbine inlet is very short.

METHODS OF COOLING OF COMBUSTION CHAMBER:       Convective cooling Impingement cooling Film cooling Transpiration cooling Radiation cooling Combinatrion of these things .

we already know about outlet temperature distribution. TRANSPIRATION COOLING: It can be viewed as ultimate cooling procedure as there are many number of continuously distributed film holes on the surface. IMPINGEMENT COOLING: The coolant may also imping on a hot surface to create a stagnation point and enhance the heat transfer through the coolant through the wall. pressure loss and combustion efficiency require further comment and stability limits and combustion intensity have not yet received attention. . Of these. COMBUSTION CHAMBER PERFORMANCE: The main factors of importance in assessing combustion chamber performance are  pressure loss. Now.  stability limits and  Combustion intensity. The cool layer acts like a blanket that protects the surface from hot gases. RADIATION COOLING: Radiation cooling accompanies all the surfaces above absolute zero temperature.  outlet temperature distribution. FILM COOLING: Minimising heat transfer to the wall from the gases by providing a cool layer on the hot surface.CONVECTIVE COOLING: This method is primarily used to maximise the heat transfer rate from a hot wall to coolant side.  combustion efficiency.

and maximum cross sectional area Am of the chamber. typical values of PLF at design operating conditions for tubular.PRESSURE LOSS: We have seen that the overall stagnation pressure loss can be regarded as the Sum of the fundamental loss (a small component which is a function of T02/ TO1 ) and the frictional loss. the velocity of the air leaving the last stage of an axial compressor is quite high-say 150 m/s-and some form of diffusing section is introduced between the compressor and combustion chamber to reduce the velocity to about 60 m/s. that the overall pressure loss can often be expressed adequately by an equation of the form Pressure loss factor. If K1 and K2 are determined from a combustion chamber on a test rig from a cold run and a hot run. air mass flow m. and the convention is useful when comparing results from chambers of different shape. PLF= (¨p0)/(m2/2ȡ1Am2) =K1+K2((T02/T01)-1)«««(1) Note that rather than ȡ1 C12/2. Our knowledge of friction in ordinary turbulent pipe flow at high Reynolds number would suggest that when the pressure loss is expressed nondimensionally in terms of the dynamic head it will not vary much over the range of Reynolds number under which combustion systems operate. depending upon the layout of the gas turbine. then equation(1) enables the pressure loss to be estimated when the chamber is operating as part of a gas turbine over a wide range of conditions of mass flow. This velocity-sometimes known as the reference velocity-is more representative of conditions in the chamber. in fact. By combining equations (1) and (2) it can be seen that (¨p0)/p01 can be expressed as a function of non-dimensional mass flow at entry to the combustion . In other words. it depends on where the compressor is deemed to end and the combustion chamber (¨p0)/p01= ((¨p0)/ (m2/2ȡ1Am2)) x ((m2/2ȡ1Am2)/p01) = PLF x (R/2) ((m (T01)1/2)/Amp01)2««««««« (2) Where the difference between ȡ1 and ȡ01 has been ignored because the velocity is low. as to how much of the stagnation pressure loss in this diffuser is included in the PLF of the combustion system. a conventional dynamic head is used based on a velocity calculated from the inlet density. It is a matter of convention. Experiments have shown. tubo-annular and annular combustion chambers are 35 25 and 18 respectively. pressure ratio and fuel input. To give an idea of relative orders of magnitude. There are two points which must be remembered when considering pressure loss data. Firstly.

chamber and combustion temperature ratio: such a relation is useful when predicting pressure losses at conditions other than design. each contained in . where space and weight are vital. it follows from equation (2) and the values of PLF given above that the chamber cross-sectional area per unit mass flow (Am/m) can be smaller for the annular design. For aircraft engines. the value of Am/m is normally chosen to yield a value of (¨p0)/p01 between 4 and 7 per cent. If the values of (¨p0)/p01 are to be similar. Consider now the two extreme cases of tubular and annular designs. COMBUSTION EFFICIENCY: A can system consists of one or more cylindrical burners. Am/m is usually such that (¨p0)/p01is little more than 2 per cent. For industrial gas turbine chambers.