23, 143~201(1974)

Combustion in Swirling Flows: A FReview
N. SYRED* and J. M. BEkR Departmm of ChemicalEngineering and Fuel Technology, Sheffield University. Sheffield SI 3JD, Engbtrd t

swirling. flows haur been commonly used iorrt numberof years the stabilization of high imensKy for combustion processes. In general these swirling flowr are poctly understood because of their complexity. This paper describes the recent proltlea in underskwding and using these swirling flows, The main cffcctsof swirl arrto lmpruve ~rruncstability as a resuIt of the formation of toroidrd recircuhtion ZO;I~:S to reduce combustion lengths by producina hizh rates of entrainment of the ambient and fltianr! fast rnixiw, particularIyX%r to fhi! boundarbes of recuculaiion zones. Two main types bf swirl ccrlbustor can be identified as follows: The hid Burner. Here swirling flow exhausts into a furnace or cavity and combustion occurs in and just 1tutside the burner exit. The Cjclone Combusriun Chamber. Here air is injected tangentially into a large, usually, cylindrical chamber and exhausts through a centrally located exit hole in one end. Combustion mostly occurs inside 1111: cyclone chamber. Initially the isothermal performance of swirl combustors is considered, and it is demonstrated that. contrary to many previous assumptions, the flow is often not axisymmetric but three-dimensional timodeprndent. Under moat normal nonpremixed combustion conditions, the swirling flow returns to axis\ olmetry, although there is still a residual presence of the tieedimensionality, particularly on the boundary of the reverse flow zone. Swirl inaeases considerablythe stability limits of most flames; in fact with certain swirl burners, the blow-off limits are virtually infinite. Cyclone combustion chambers have large internal reverse flow zones which provide very long residence times for the fuel/air mixtare. They are typically used for the combustion of diffiiuh materials such as poor quality wal or vegetable refuse. In contrast to the swirl burner which usually has one central toroidal. recircukdion zone, the cyclone combustor often has up to three concentric toroidal recirculation zones. Sufficient information is also available to indicate that stratified or staged fuel or air entry may be wed to minimize noise, hydrocarbon, and NO, emissions from swirl comhustors.

1. Introduction Swirl has been commonly used for the stabilization of high-intensity combustion [l-6] . The main effects of swirl are as follows:

(c) As the blockage is aerodynamic, flame impingement on the burner may be minimized, thus ensuring minimum maintenance and extended life for the unit. These toroidal recirculation zones, which recirculate heat and active chemical species to the root of the flame, thus reducing velocity requirements for flame stabilization, are only formed beyond a critical swirl nunbe: (>0.6) [7]. Nonrecirculating swirling flows have been extensively investigated [7-121, but the most significant effects of swirling flow are produced by recirculation. This paper is hence mainly concerned with swirling flow and recirculation.

(a) To reduce combustion lengths by producing higher rates of entrainment of the ambient fluid and fast mixing close to the exit nozzle and on the boundaries of recirculation zones [l-6]. (b) To improve flame stability as a result of the formation of toroidal recirculation zones in strongly swirling zones [l-6 1.
-*Pr(:sent address: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University Ccdlege, Cardiff CFl 1 XP, Wales.

Copyright Q 1974 by The Combustion Instltuto Publish& Whnarican Elwier Publishia&ompuly. Inc.



Fig. 1. (a) Scheme of swirl burner with axial and tangential air entries [Zl] . (b) Russian Enin cyclone furnace with distributed fuel and air admission I491 . 3, secondary ak box; 2, vortex ring; 3, gas coUector;4, furnace roof; 5, oil atomizers; 6, cyclane chamber; 7, water cooled casing; 8, outlet throat; 9, electrical ignition.

In general, two main types of swirl combustor m&y be found. Swirling flow exhausts inta the atmosphere or furnace or cavity. Combustion mostly OCC~ISand just outside the in
(a) The Swid Burner.

bumer exit [Fig. 1(a)] . Groups of sim3ar burners may be arranged to fire into a furnace or cavity. (b) TIzeCyclone Co~nbustion Charnbep. Air is injected tangentially into a large, usually cykdrical, chamber and exhausts through a cer,ltrally




17.5 cm. I.D.

A momentum parameter 51&f@Q’ ad a fluctuating pressure parameter Ap@ /pE.
SLITS 4~8cm.WIBE 35 cm. LONG.

2.1 Swirl Burnerr


AIR 1.25

QR GAS cm t.D.

phe.nomenonwhich must be taken into account when designing swirl combustors.

& E cZ!q CF coverageexit velocity, based on = v the total mass flow rate, the exit area and the exit gas ternt prature )
v =


/kine:.:matic viscosity of the gases at the exit, based on the exit ( gas temperature ;


115i:lVMlirecating vortex core (PVC) is present the

Two principal modes of swirl generation are in common use: (a) guide vanes in axial tubes: [Fig+ 2(a)] ; (b) tangential entry of the fluid stream, or part of it, into a cylindrical duct [Fig. 2(b)] I There are naturally many variations, ranglrq from the movable-block swirl generator of Beer and Leuckel [ 141 developed at the InternMona Flame Research Foundation to the axial-tangential vane units of Akhmedor and Rashidov [IS-l Q]+ which are, la fact, a hybrid of types (a) and (b) swirl generation. Despite the differences in configuration, there are many similarities in flow patterns produced by different types of swirl generators. Swirl numbers of typical burners are usually in tie range 0.6 -+ 2.5, The results of detailed measurements of ths flow structure produced by the swirl burner shown in Fig. 2(b) are detailed in Figs. 3 and 4 [ 17-l S] . It may be seen that a large toroidal recirculation zone is formed i.n the exit, occupying up to 75% of the exit diameter, with up to 80% of the initial flow being recirculated [Fig. 3(a)], the stid number being 2.2. The tangential velocity distribution is of Rankine form (i.e., free/forced vortex) inside the swirler, decaying to a forced vortex distribution at the exit plane [Fig. 3(b)] I ‘ Very high levels of kinetic energy of turbulence are formed (a 300%) just by the exit lip [Fig. 4(a)], with a rapid decay occurring afts/r one exit diameter. When the axial’ tangential velocity Rucand tuations are considered separately> considerable anisotropy is revealed. The maxima of the tan gential velocity fluctuations [Fig. 4(b)] occur just by the exit lip at O/L& = 0.8, with a rapid decay occurring toward the axis of symmetry. With the axial velocity fluctuation [Fig. 4(c)], two maxima are revealed, one just past the exit lip at #&, * 0.9 and cne just inside the swirl burner near the


I48 mm3 for stronglyswirlingjets, except for those of iirstimenkofig), who for a cyclone chamber of &nl;iarconfiguration to the swirlm generator of Fig, 2@), but of large swirl num’ (X w 3 l), ber obtained similar trends fur mean velocity, velocity fluctuations, and kinetk energy of turbulence proBlea The vi&M absence of sWr1in the reverse flow, also shown by w&r model photographs in (I$), was also demonstrated. The addition of a throat to the cyclona chtli:%er raised the absolute rms values of velocity flup,tuation by a factor of 3 to 5, This means that the kinetic energy of turbulence X u;“/Uz has been raduced by abdut 30% bthen the increased miwn veloci~: through the ,throat due to th; redaction in diameter (by a factor of 25) has been taken into account. However, it must be remembered that correspondingly &e;he number has been reduced by a factor of SWM 2,s oting to the reduction in throat diameter; thus it may ba concluded that a throat enables SimW k&tic energy of turbulence levels to be g+znrntedfur much lower swirl number, which in turn means tfie total pressure drop through the WM generator $3much reduced (see Fig. 93,
Trends of turbulencedecay far m&iy swkiiag jets (S m 0.6), siMlar to those &o~rr iti Fig, 4 far

strongly swirlingjet, have been measured by AUen (20), He found a we&defied change over po& tion, occurring between 3 to 4 jet diameters dome stream, where the ma&mm mrbulence values found in a swirlingjet became leas than those found in a nonswirling jet, The size and shape of the recirculation zone and associated region of high turbulencle [6, 191 are critical to flame stabfiity, intensity, and performance, Suffkfent data are now nvailabla to m&e interesting comparisons between the isotherms3 performance of various swirl generators and the effect of various geometrical additions such as conical divergences, oil guns or injectors, and furnace enclosures. Besides the streamline distribution shown in Fig. 3(a), three others are compared in Fig. 5(a)-(c) [21-22j+ It may be seen that the “eye” of the recirculation eddy always occurs very close TVthe exit nozzle, and fairly similar patterns are obtained in all cases, the main difference lying in the recirculated mass ffow ratio. When all the available data [4,6,21,

Fig. 5, Spatial distribution of streamlines (Q/$0) formed by swirling jets, (a) (shown here) S - 1.57 = straight exit and oil gun [21].



Fig. 5&). S-

1.17 = ConicaI exit, (halfangle

31.5”), no oilgun [22].

from ~ubless vaned swirlers) seems to make little &&re.r~e to the overall recirculated mass flow. fi@ luiic~tig equation has been fitted to the data Thrstgrai&S exits:

S = 0.508 -I-5.66M, - 6.25M; +-2.28M! The presence of an oil gun at the throat of a tangential entry swirler appears to halve the rscir-

‘R /

0 0 o-,o


(6) (4)

S=2*2 S=1*98








/De = 0 *‘ , S = 1’ 8 I :: 3-O , St 1.57

to the bloclcage 48%x% f:b,~ af mned swirkr In the duct. The shape M &@ &~.WEe aoRe&&mds pl-i~c~ppsruy &W on

ii&&d Gikkrt (24) was,in part,due

the degree of swirl and the mgle of divergence of the oztlet (Fig. ‘ For annular vmed swirlers i), (straight exit), a long thin reverse flow is formed


(i) The very high rates of entrainment, men-

tioned above, often cause the swirlingjet to stick to a waU. This is due to the initial part of the jet entraining and suckingback fluid from further downstream,hence causingattachment and another region of reciteulation. ;(ii) Especiallyat high swirlnumbers the decay of swirl velocity is usually uneven across the en&sure; hence strong annular zones of high axial pressuregradient may be crented, which then in -urn may set up severaldifferent regions of coaxid reversedflow [4,2S], rather analogousto the complex flowpatterns formed in cyclone combustion chamber& be diwdssedlater). (to Asa result of these effects, two main recirculaZionareas are often set up close to the exit nozzle when free swirlingjets ate confined. One is the usual central recirculation zone and the other is located between the swirlingjet boundary and the wdls of the enclosure. Dependingon the swirl ntimber and confinement ratio (i.e., area ratio of cnrmlasure the burner throat) the outer recirculato

tion zone may be laqer 02 der than the c&r93 recirculation zone [4,25] * The central recirculation zone is of most interest to combbustiua en& neers, as the outer zone is less efflcierIt for fIaIW stabihzation purposes because of hi& rates of heat transfer to the walls;thus in Fig. 8 the vasti* tion of central recirculated mass flow with swirl number and confmement ratio is shown. The results Afrosimoua of [25] we cher ta the case of a free swirlingjet than those of Mathst and Maccallum [4) as the confinement ratio is hzrgar and closer to the situation of a free swirlingjet issuinginto an infinite enclosure. It is interesting to note that generally for swirl numbers less than 2.4 confmement increases the central recirculated mass flow, while for swirlnumbers greater &an about 1.6 [4,26] the outer region of recirculation disappears. This occurs because, upon leating the swirl generator, the swirlingflop sticks immediately to the walls of the confinement while further downstream complex reci,rculationpatterns similar to those of cyclone combustion chambers develop.





TABLE 1 Characteristics of Different Types of Swirler Vant:d Straight Easy to construct and instaU. Low efrcient:y and Ri 10~scoefficient at S > 033, Efficiency function of swirl number-low at highs, Wect of oil gun &ID0 Ratio -Effect r3fedt diwqgsnce Frofiled Tangential entry including radial vanes

Movable blcck



Easy to canstructHigh efficiency, low S eady varied. High Blades more difficult loss coefficients. efficiency, low loss single tangential into construct, High coefficient. Effiefficiency, low loss Mp similar to let. Mediocre coefficient, InsuffiEfficiency m 47%. straight vaned ciency 60-70%. r&w loss casfficiemt. cient data for deswirler, but mcirculation zone tailed comparison with other swirlers. smaller far same S. Efficiency = 70% Efficiency 70-80%. -An oil gun positioned at the ‘ throat reduced the recirculated mass flow Qfr) and the size of the recirculation zone considerably-oil gun should therefore be withdrawn as far from the throat as possible, &De w 0.5 reduced loss coefficient considerably.

Enlarges recirculation zones, increases recirculated mass flow substantially, reduces pressureloss coefficient.

Of lo% coeff%ient with. Re for radial vaned pro5&d blade swirlers, If the effr&ncy of swirl generation is considered, defied as the ratio of the flux of Lietic energy of the swirling flow through the throat to the &op uf total pressure between the air inlets srrd the throat of the burner, the trends indicated in Fig, 9 are further emphasized (Fig, 10) where it may be seen that straight vane swirkxs [4] are ar~ly t,obe recommended at low swirl numbers. 7%~r:ent.rx~l gun is responsible for the reducoil t’ in efkierxy v&h swir! number for the axialkl-g Z;tq$%W eratry $wirlac[ 11 . some of Ivanov’ s @N.&n &RI3W&? plattsd on Fig. 10. Wnforturq#ac%y,is rlif%zu2t exert the swirl parameter 2t #o EO swirl number for al! of his results, as insuffiGent deta& are givenof the burners. However, effreknchs of about 7U%were obtairied for radial
@da W.IW+ twirler, &T&H to ihho~ of Louckel @Q WMo Rr’ thtl: scr& swirler (single tangential Qr

the nonuniformity of the flow at the exit of most of the swirlers described in this paper. Table 1 summarizes the main conclusions of this survey of the isothermal performance of swirl generators.
2.2 Cyclone Combustion Chambers The cyclone combustor uswtlly has been used for the combustion of matter-i&which are normaNy considered difficult to bum efficiently, such as damp vegetable refuse (32-341, high ash content and brown cc&, anthracite [3548], and.high sulphur oils [4F]. The swirl number has not been employed for the characterization of cyclone chambers. However, it wrouldappear to be a suitable parameter for characterizing cyclone chambers as well as for comparing them to swirl burners. The swirl number, based on input and exit parameters, has thus been used as follows:

t&:) c~‘ !kW$x sf about 50% were recorded. ~~fik~g the vanes of a mned swirler increases the cfI>ai~~~ of swkl generation by a factor of 3. Ivaxkov [JOI r~ammends that scroll swirlers &Ad be superseded by profiled vaned svhllers asix @atant% the ~rne swirl, because of their


Input Angular Momentum De/2 X Exit Angular Momentum

Assuming a uniform exit axial velocity profile

cation sundard cjwlone dust sew.ratorzz, of e,g,,
[SO-511, f.0%kmk?r conBgarmtim, f#E!l bing timply ifddad to the amge~tld Met: mcam The aartiymtics a#-al? ant sype UT CyGlsn~ fFi& f xftrjj b&xi dmumenaed paa] * an prf,iw~dJp, F3alwvmd Trqmti f SS-q ) bMid%S mstsur@ ~5i;scftypr&.ks, hoye &o Intensively SnvM’ tpz& the efkt of different variables, such as tie Lf& t l&j, 1Ad/AT ratio ;and the number and y&GtlMY the tzira~enri~ ST t&t% .AZWrIrnary of the ~&nersJ a~r,9ynamks of such cyclterna~ Is shown in Fig, 12, PM charsctWMc annarfar xs)ncsare distin#u&hable [35j c Tham %If! two min downward RCW, rotating.coaxEa&, whkh carv the main mass af gas, namely, the wall flow 1 and the axi& Bow 3. In the5.ekws the ma&ma of Wan.d Uare combined, Flows 1 and 3 are divided by a pripheral intermediate zone 2, occupied by the rising turbulent vortices bnncblng from flows 1 and 3 and formining a as resu’ the revere stream 2. In zone 2, the profiles ft of Wdip, Uis reversed, and hence the tangential abd veloci@ profnes are of saddle-like form, vary= ing over the cyclone height, Xn central zone 5, the two &ghtly swMed axiaI e-xo~s move col~~ti to each e&es, a dkect flow from the top, and a re= verse flow lat the exit. The* cent& tlaws are twisted a$ they move by flaw 3 bec&~ of turbulent mass transfer thruugh the axial intermediate zone 4. &Cal velocities Uin zone 4 are reversed and directed toward rhe top The streams of gas from the tangential nozzle branch.into two rotating flows, one of which passes toward the exit (flow I) and *theother toward the top+ Their interrelationship is governed by the ralatiw di.s= tance of the nozzles from the top; with Increase in this distance the prspsrtkm of upward flow increases. Remembering that the exit of this cydune is at the bottom, axial and tangential vehMx in the ascendingflow rapidly diminish with approach to the top plate, and radial velocities appreciably increase. A large proportion of the gas, without reaching the cyclone axis, develups an atia.I velocity and leaves the top, forming flow 3, Huwever, some of the gas ti this $og buund&rylayer is carried over to the cyclone axis and forms the weak descending flow 5. ms flow rapitiy decays toward aero within one chamber diameter, The


11. Mdrr

types of cyclone chamkr.

W’ o No tang. inlets

1.0-3.0 0.4 - 0.7 At least 2

s Fuel entry

2-1 I usuauy tang.

l.O-i.25 0.4 + 0.5 Often only 1 sametime up to 4 8-20 UsuaIly tang.

This swirl number is only applicable to isothermal flows and will be subsequently modified for the effects of combustion, In general, swirl numbers are appreciably higher than for the swirl generators considered in Sec. 2.1, typically: S = 1 I for the Siemens-AgrestCyclone f32-341. 3 < S < 11 for the cyclone shown in Fig. 1l(a) 13%371 8 < S < 20 for the cyclone combustor, based on cyclone dust separators, Fig+11 (b) C38-42)I Very high residence times are achieved with these swirl numbers f32-331 5 and most of the combus tion process appears to occur inside the chamber [34,38-44,491. Two main forms of cyclone appear to be in common use (Fig. 11). The first type (a), appears to be used for higher calorific value fuels where slag and ash generation and removal is not a se& ous problem. The second Eype(b) operates at higher swirl numbers than the first and is used for high ash content fuels where problems due to slag formation and fly ash carry-over may often arise. This type of cyclone seems to be a simple mod%

recirculation zones shown in the bottom of the cyclone near the exit are particularly well developed in h&h chambers (L/Do sz 2.4-4) and with small exit diameters (L&/De * 0.3-W). WEJI an inward facing step is fitted as shown in Fig. 1l(a) or the tmgentid inlets are distributed along the length of the cyclone as by Agrest and Schmidt [33-341, this recirculation pattern is altered and an increase in residence time occurs, owing to flow 1 sticking to the outer wal1 until the bottom of the chamber, Tt is clearly shown that at least two or more symmetricaUyspaced tangentia1 inlets must be used, as otherwise a highly uneven flow structure results, especially when L/De >* 1.S and &/De 3 0.5. Single banks of tangential inlets also cause an increase in pressure-loss coefficient, as well as in the combustive state uneven and incomplete burning 1361. The tangential inlet area, or AT/A= ratio, appreciably affects the tangential and axial velocity profiles in the cyclone chamber; with an increase in this ratio the saddle-like structures of the velocity profiles smooth out because of a decrease in axial and tangential velocities in Region 1, am., the reverse and forward streams in rl zones 4 and 5 disappear and a strong central descending flow appears instead. This is the type of flaw situation that occurs in the Siemens-Agrest Cyclone 132-341. The configuration of the tangential nozzles does not affect the flow patterns decisively [36] + The position of the tangential nozzles rdative to the roof and throat governs the rehmonship between the magnitude of flows 1 and 3, It is suggested that fhr? tangential nozzles sh.ataldbgtpositioned at some distance from the top of the cyclone (Q/L e 0,08-0.15). The throat diameter js one of the main parameters, and recommended values are in the range 0.4-0.7&. With an increase of the L/D, ratio beyond 1.5 (to achieve higher residence times), flow 3 intensifies as compared with flow 3; for L/Da ratios greater than 2.5 tile distribution of tangential inlets along ihe bmgtih of the cyclone is necessary to preserve symmetry and uniformity of the flow. Mimenko (19) has made detailed lurbuience measurements in this type of cyclone using hotwire anemometers. He showed that maximum values of turbulence intensity occurred at and

AMI -_

Fig. 12. Aerodynamics of a cycloae chamber:‘ Ty$e” a [351.

around the peak of tangential velocity (Region 3, Fig. 12). The turbulence intensity was approximately 5 times lower near the outer waifs, When the exit throat was removed [the cydone chamber then being very similar to the swirl generator shown in Fig. 2(b)] y the rms values of the velocity fluctuations (W2 and W”) were I.5 times higher near the walls, and in the main flow (Region 3) 3-5 times luwer than in the cyclone chamber which has a throat. This is also of importance to swirl burners, as previously mentioned, enabling a given turbulence level to be achieved for a lower swirl number. The flow in the boundary layer on the endplate of a cyclone, opposite to the exit, is obviously crucial in the generation of the type of flow pattern shown in Fig. 12. Large changes can be

23 2.2 1,s 40

Pig. 14. (a) hlet losses for various types of swiriers; (II) chamber friction, swkl and outlet losses [ 54 J . !&, the pressure loss coefficient across the tang8nHence

tirrlinlet, was typically 1.3-l .4. Values of & for ty,picaIinlet geometries are given in Fig, 14(a). The loss coefficient is about P.3-l .4 for hngentid entry swirl generation, being increased by v&es, discontinkties, or coaxial gas fuel pipes. Radial gui& vanes, (iv) and (v), have generally low loss coefficients, except where the flow must turn through two right angles before entering the swirl chamber (i.e,, (iv) when g&= 1.85). Similarly, AF,. = 4’ %, ,, !&, the pressure loss coefficient from the inlets to the exhaust was shown to be mainly a function of outlet geometry [Fig. 14(b)]. Convergent exits (v) produce the lowest loss coefficients, while the cy~lontidust separator type of outlet [Figs. I l(B) and J 3 (vi)] has the highest loss coefficient of 4.0. The first type of c:~clonedescribed in this section has an etit loss caafficlent of 1.8 for a plain exit and 2,2 for the invfard facing type. TIkeseloss co%Hkientsapply when L&/J?, = 0.45. Tager [54] has also correlated much experimental information to produce a graph and formula for predicting the effect of variations in throat diameter on the total chamber pressure drop. The relative re,&tance of the combustion chamber is defined as equal to the :Iratio the actual drag of of

Then the total pressure drop through the cyclone is obtained by adding on the inlet losses, A& or & (M&+,JZg). Remembering that the inlet losses stay the same as the tangential inlet area remains constant, Fig. 15 shows that a decrease in De/D0 from 0.45 to 0.3 leads, other conditions being equal, to a twofold increase in asrodynarnk drag of the combustion chamber. An ir~rease of De/Do to 0.6 halves A&-. Thus, by using the loss coefficients given in Fig+14 for De/De = 0.45, the formula for AP,, ana the &ove formula, predictions may be made of the total pressure drop through a cyclone combtEstorsystem, The validity of using these several equatiuns together for prediction of pressure drop might weI! be doubted. However, they accurately predkt AP through the Agrest comb&or described in [33] (and this is for a combustive system!} and the authors have found that they give reasonable predictions for other cyclone eombustors and some swirl burners. A comparison of the efficiency of swirl gene-r% tion of cyclone combustors and swirl burners is interesting. With swirl burners the efficiency of swirl generation is based upon the swirl generated at the exit throat. Usually, as moss of the volume

0.1 1 0.25

OS2 I 0.5

0.3 I 0.75

089 I 1.0

AT IAL0 D* /Do

Kg. I& Dependence of the aerodynamic efficiency on the constructional of the cyclone chamber [37].


of this second breakdown f55] : the axisymmetric, spiral, and double helix, Apart from the double helix breakdown, which occurs infrequently, the flay after the second breakdown is highly turbulent and appears to her@d the onset of flow reversal arid the formation of large toroidal recirculation zones. The occurrence and position of the vortex breakdown was shown to be a function both of swirl number and Reynolds Number (55) (Fig. 17). There is a clear division between the axisymmetric and spiral breakdown regions apart from a narrow region of hysteresis, in which the double helix breakdown occasionally occurs. It is evident for swirl numbers >I that the axisymmetric breakdown reaches the rear wall of the swirl generators. When S m 0.6 vortex breakdown may not occw until high Reynolds Numbers and this appears to be the case of the breakdown uf aircraft wing tip vortices [584&j + Although Fig. 17 is for a.very specific swirl generator, it appears to have a much wider ap plication than might be fir& supposed_ As will be reported later, the authors have found that this figure provides a good description of vortex





3 %*





Fig. 17. Occurrence of vortex breakdown ;fs a fm .“ion of swirl and Reynolds Nttmtor [ 55 )

breakdown found in other types of swirl gene erator such as that shown in Fig, Z(b), BrookeBenjamin 1611 has suggested that the vortex breakdown is not a manifestation of instability, but a finite transition between two conjugate flow states, one supercritical and rmable to sustain infinitesimal stand!ag waves, the other subcritical. It is hypothesised that the conjugate subcrizld state ha: an excess of flow force which, if the flow were first held steady after the initial tcansition and then released, would be bound to generate an unsteady, highly turbulent motton. The above summary of the occurrence of the vortex breakdown phenomenon shows it to be a very interesting but still poorly understood occurrence. For swirl combustors our main interest is to ensure that for a given swirl number, the Reynolds Number is always outside the re&otl uf initial vortex breakdown such that a large stable recirculation zone is established. For S > 0~3 a satisfactory lower limit of Re seems to be about 18,0CHL2Operation at lower values of Re would mean that small perturbations of Re could pause very large changes in the recirculattion and mixing
2This allows for the effect of different types of stil generation md boundary cm&ions.

i:tg. 38. R,rldizl secrion thraugh water model of swirl izl~,~n.~r, 2(b). The path of’the polystyrene clearly Vig. rho~ V’ ~SS~~R precession. Re = 3.5 X 10’ [ 181. core Fig. 19. (a) Longitudinal section through water model of a short swirl burner @/De < 1). Re = 1.45 X 105 [67]. Ib) Longitudinal section thrrugt water model of swirl burner, Fig. 2(b). Re = 1.45 X lo5 [18].

will of course be a continuous process with this eddy being continuously peeled off by the PVCit is termed the radial-axial eddy (18). Once again dissipation of this eddy rapidly occurs. The phenomenon of the PVC and associated instabilities explains the very high levels of turbulence initially measured in this type of swirl generator (17) (Fig. 3). The PVC appears to lie between the reverse flow boundary and the zero stream line [Fig. 3(a)]. This corresponds to the area of maximum kinetic energy of turbulence [Fig. 4(a)] . The rapid decay of kinetic energy of turbulence (corresponding with that of the PVC)


2%. Per&&$y

in the airmodel.

Time scale used on

Fig. 22. Low frequency fluctuations in the axial plane. The bottom trace is of PVC close to wall. la) 0 < d/D, < 0.17. (b) 0.17 <d/De < 0.74. (c) d/LJ, < 0.74. From Ref. [67].

persists over all the exit plane (Fig. 22). Three distinct regions may be recognized as follows:


and J, M.

@. 24 1 Concentric bands of precessing vortex cores found in a thin cylindrical vortex chamber. fa) Inlet vortices. (b) Outlet vortices. From Ref. ,[73] .

x,0.1) up to two concentric bands of (JUDO PVCs may occur around the varying areas of recirculation (Fig. 24) /73] , In the exit (Fig. 24, Plate b) four distinct PVCs may be discerned, while in the outer part of the chamber at the boundary of the outer reverse flow zone [see 741 a secondary ring containing many PVCs occurs (Fig. 24, Plate a). Thus with cyclone chambers it is evident that the behavior of PVCs is more complex than with simple swirl generators and burners. It appears that vartex core precession may occur in three main ways in cyclone chambers: > (i) If the cyclone chamber is long (L/Do 4) and if the tangential inlets are grouped near the exit. (ii) In a manner similar to that described for swirl generators. For a given Re as the swirl number S is increased to heyand 0.6, vortex breakdown occurs in the exit. As S is increased further, the breakdown extends back down into the cyclone, eventually reachmg the end wall. Ihe associated PVC which follows the vortex breakdown seems to be mainly confmed to the exit region and is analogous to that found in swirl burners (Sec. 3.2.1). (iii) As has been described in Sec. 2.2, several



TABLE 2, Summary of Flame Characttistics
Recmsing vortex sores intensity I


tntmity and
frequency f 1, < 5 watt&ma Good, especially APi, = G.3-32 Frequency correlation Pressure drop &P cm Wg


%me type

comb. length LC


isothermal swirl

burner Fair AP-3APi, Re = 3 x IO4 - lo5

fiS = 15-200 Hz

at high Re

For Re = 50 X IO3 - 2 X 10’

Audible law frequency noise. J.,argeWCs present. Blow off limits: wide Flame oscillates violently Large PVCs present.

(5) Premixed flame with tangential injection

Comb, iutensi,ty W Lc = I-2OL& Poor at low Numbers

@) Diffusion flame with axial fuel entry
Good at high?

Comb. intensity medium L, = 3-50,

AP - 0.9AP tOf-2x


Blow off limits: very wide Flame quiet PVCs damped. AP - 0.85~Pi, Re=5X 104-2X 10’

(c) Diffusion
f forti N 50

Comb. intensity Reynolds Numbers



I - 0.81i, 0.85&

fuel entry on axis of symmetry

i.., = 0.5& @=50 10-2


Flame bums in and NC at # > 50. Large PVC present.

(d) Diffusion flame with tangential fuel entry

Comb. intensity medium L, = 2-30,


Poor at low Reynolds Numbers

Re=5 X 103-1.5X


Blow off limits: nalrow, Flame quiet PVCSdamped

“The subscript ‘ refers to the isothermal state. is’

con~ntric regions reversed nuw may be formed of
inside cyclone &ambers. For tlGn ctibers
(L/Do << I), bands of$aPCJgmay be formed around some af the outer zones sf mciroulat5on. The frequency of t&e PVC %xrns to iacwase quasi&nearly with flow rate, except at few R$ [13,18,62,63,66,67] w By careful geomt?trW des@n it is possible to construct a stir1 generator such that the frequency of the PVC is linearly proportional to mm flaw rate. A swirl Bowmeter using this principle is now marketad by Fisher and Porter, Inc. (U.S,A.) and employs 5 digital counter to count the pukes (75).

3.3-l. Swirl 3urners The

interaction of swirling fk~~; and combus-

tion is introduced in this section because combustion has a decisive effect on the PVC and thus on the aerodynamics of the flow produced by swirl burners. The PVC may be either excited or damped merely by altering the mode of fuel entry [I& 273. This may be illustrated by reference to the swirl burner of Fig. 2(b). Jn general four different types of flame and flow
pattern could be detected past the vortex breakdown (Re >18,000) and mixture ratios between 0-g and 200 [ 18,27,76] , using natural gas as fuel. (aa) I%el and Air Premixed 1.4 < @< 6.0. A
very short intense flame is produced with combus-

tion even occurring in the tangential inlets [Fig. 25(a)] _ This type of flame was very noisy, the flow was unstable, and appeared to be analogous TV isothermal cas-ewith one large the PVC producing w3-ylarge fluctuations of velocity and pressure. 0.8 (b) Fuel Enhy at or near the Base PI&62 < # < 40. This flame is far less intense and more stable than type (a) [Fig. 2S(b)l 1 as the PVC is
considerably damped both. in amplitude and frequency, There was always an annular ring *fair around the flame inside the swirl burner. At no time w&d the flame bum at the wall. The

length and shape of the flame were drastica@ altered by mixture ratio $J,the flame extending some three exit diameters for a mixture ratio of


is an intermediate type of flame between types (a)
and (b:) [Fig. 25(e)] typically extending some two exit diameters outside the combustor for a mixture ratio of 1, The stability limits are poor [l8,2’ 7]. A summary of flame characteristics is shown in Table 12. The type of fuel does not seem 1:ohave much effect on these flame forms. Town gas (-50% Hz) only changed the nature of the flames with tangential fuel entry; a type (a) flame with the large PVC was produced, and it is believed this was due to the much higher molecular diffusion rate of hydrogen compared to methane [ 181. The short intense fhme, type (a), usually produced by premixing the fuel and air appeared to be analogous to the isothermal state (Fig. 23), in which a vortex core precesses about the central axis of symmetry. Comparison of the signals produced from the pressure transducer under isothermal conditions and under this combustive state is shown ‘ Fig. 26. (Measurements were all in taken at _Y/D, = 0, d/D, = 0.8). A high degree of similarity is shown. Correlation techniques using two probes were u.sed to investigate th5 ritirnbet of PVCs present for giv5n flow rates. Only one PVC could be det.ected for both isothermal agd hot premixed covlditions over a tide range of flow rates a.nd mixture ratios. The variation of the frequency of the PVC with flow rate and mixture


o-5 1.0 Rc




Fig. 28. Variation of intensity of oscillation of #and Re [27].

WC with












R* 1 IO“ Fig. 27.

Effect of Re and Q on frequency of PVC with premixed combustion [27].

ratio is shown in Fig. 27. The frequency of the PVC is increased by a factor of 2 to 4 compared to the isothermal state. Transition to a type (d) flame occurs at mixture ratios richer than 1.4. Blowoff limits may be seen to be wide, especially at lower Reynolds Numbers- The action of the PVC also apparently causes partial separation of the premixed fuel and air, so as to produce a mixture within the combustible range even at high excess air values. The effect of flow rate and mixture ratio on the intensity of the oseillation is shown in Fig. 28 and is also compared with the isothermal state. Some variation of intensity with mixture ratio was found, but the most sig nificant effect was caused by the variation of Reynolds Number. Sharp rises in intensity with Reynolds Number are shown for both the isothermal (Re > 1 X 1@) and combustive states (Re > 0.5 X 10+5). No direct evidence of the radial-axial eddy found in [ 181 and [67] could be deltected in this combustor, although under certain flow ‘ rates and mixture ratios the combustor would violently oscillate. Dorrestein 1771 showed that vibrations in a crude oil burner were

174 Axial or tangential fuel entry (type (b) and (d) flames) produces a far mcrre uniform and less intense flame than that produced with premixed air and fuel (type {a)). The flame burns at some distance from the wall and preliminary investigation showed that the large PVC had been substanti& damped [ 18,271, although some residual oscillation could be detected on the boundary of the reverse flaw zone; this is tilustrated in Fig. 29. Equipment available on the large combustor was not sendtive enough to measure these smaller oscil~aGons and so the results foi type and (d) flames were taken on a (b) oae&fth scale model burner. Frequency analysis of the pressure fluctuations measured by a pitot tube and condenser microphone showed that on and Just inside the boundary of the flame there was a sharp peak of frequency and this varied with FTavv and mixture ratio in a manner analogous rate to r%ae large PVC produced with premixed fuel and air. Measurements af frequency and intensity

were, complicated by the large variations in size and shape of the flame and the reverse flow zone which took place with changes in mixture ratio and flow rate. Measurements were always taken on and near the boundary of the flame, at the point where the highest Pressure fluctuations were recorded. This was usually some OS to 1.S diameters past the exit. Figure 30 shows the effect of flow rate and mixture ratio on frequency both for axial and tangential fuel entry and also for isothermal conditions. With axial fuel entry and above an Re of 7,000, there appears to be little variation of frequency with flow rate or rtiuturc ratio, frequencies of around 200 Hz being recorded. The flames produced with tangential fuel entry had very narrow blow-off limits (Fig* 30), only being stabilized near the stoichiornetric mixture ratio. Measured frequencies were approximately half those measured with axial fuel entry, beingin the 40-100 Hz range.

0 !J

2.5 3.5


?? ??


1.1 @ 1.25


R* *



Fig. 31, Variation of intensity of fhctuathns of WC with # and Re for axial and tangmthl fueI entry IZ?]+











Summary of #low sta.tewith damped WC prcwhced by large radial density or pressuregradients [ 18 ] .

specific frequency was noted. Putnam [82] has recently suggested that the specific frequency of the PVC may have been excited above the audible range, and beyond the range of instrumentation, bearing in mind the results presented in Sec. 3.3.1 on the excitation of the PVC by prembced combustion. When the fuel supply was fed in on the axis much lower frequencies were generated, this frequency increasing with flow rate from the start af oscillation to blow-off. Putnam [SZ] suggests that the oscillation generated under combustion conditions is associated with Helmholtz oscillations of the cornhustor. Possibly a similar mechanism of excitation occuzs as found by Syred, Hanby, and Gupta [78] in which the damped PVC was found capable of exciting a quarter wve oacgIation in a long tube attached to a swirl burner. Thus paAMs may be drawn between the behavior of Putnam’ combustor and the type (a), s (Is), and (c) flames,produced by the sv&irl brrmcr Fig. Z(b). Basically, the large PVC does not seem to ba a problem in cyclone combustors, although Schmidt (34) and Baluev atld Troy&& 135-371 do mention some instability in the bottoms of certain extralong cyclones. It is probable that a damping of the PVC, simitar to thar. occurring in stir1 burners, happens &Ithe exits of cyclone combustion chambers. This & substantiated by the flame photographs of Schmidt [3;+J which show a tulip flame shape in the exit of a cyclone chatibet, very




Fig. 33. Effect of flame type on pressure&up.

slimilar POthose produced in swirl burners
(Fig. 51).

0 .6

Fig. 34. Frequencyparameteras a function of Reyndds numb far katham;rl fkws,

1.78 flows there is a steady increase in the frequency
parameter with the momentum parameter (swirl number)., The vahres of j@/Q tend to be csnstant values at higher Re, The asymptotic, high Fb ~vvalucs the frequency and pressure of parameters were troth shown to increase quasilinearly tith the momentum parameter. With combustim, the behavior of the PVC and hence of the frequ,ency parameter is much more complicated. The variation off @/Q with Re for the foirr different :flame types described in Sec. 3,J.l. is shwn in Fig. 35 (a)-(c). The results for the highly, damped PVC (type (b) and (d)) were t.aken on a 1/s scale model burner. Considering the isothermal state initially [Fig. 35(a) and (b)] , it may be seen that the frequency parameter tends trr a constant value at high Re for both cases. I~iowever, it is evident that the use of the mctmenturn parameter LU&/~Q2 may lead to some inacc:curacywhen large changes in surface area/ volume ratio occur as there is some 30% difference between the twc values off’ Dz/Q at high Re (if S&&/@Q’ were alunc sufficient fair characteriza-


SYRED and. 1. M.


tion, jD2 /Q should have been of similar value for the two cases at higher Re). It has, however, been shown [13] that this parameter (OD,/pQ’ ) is adequate for changes in surface area/volume ratio as high as 2, as 0ppose.d to 5 in this one. This conclusion is supported by Suzuki [66] where Zt was shown that the frequency of the PVC slowly decreased because of frictional effects as the L/De ratio was increased. For type (a) flames with premixed fue.1and air the frequency parameter tends to a constant value at higher Re and mixture ratios between 1.47 and 3 [Fig. 35(a)] 1 The mixture ratio cause:; an increase of the frequency parameter by a factor of between 2 and 4, compared to the isothermal state. With type (cc)flames with fuel entry on the axis, it is reduced by up to 25% [Fig. 35(b)] , A different pattern emerges with type (b) and (d) flames produced by axial and tangential fuel entry [Fig. 35(c)] . The high values of j@/Q produced at low Re are du: to vortex breakdown and the variation in the size of the recirculation zone with small changes in Re in this range of Re





Fig JS, VnrL.tlon ctf fqu?ncy

psrn~~t~rjD,“& with Reynoids Number and mode of fuel entry. (a) (Shown 1.xe.) Remixed ccrobustion 1271.









Fig. 35. (b) Axial and tangential fueI

entry [ 27j_ Cc) Axial fuci entry at weak mrxture ratias C$ > 501 j75].

(27). It is evident that the frequency parameter is tending toward a constant value at high Re for both modes of fuel entry, somewhat lower than the isothermal state. All these resdts foe the four different types of flame me summarized in Fig. 36. The results for axial md tangential fuel entry (type (b) and (d)

flames] have been corrected for ske to t&at oF the large Turner by reduckr~ the VJties off*o,j @ by the ratio of the asymptatlc V&l& offDj/G of the full arld scale modd burners, unider isot.herxaraI conditians. It should be mted that the camx2ian factol- used m bring the two curves tog&+x & equal ta p V-Pwhere p is the scab 1Cactm. It is

turn flux, although care must be taken when large changes of surface area/volume ratio occur. A

change ti surface areajvolums ratio of a factor of 5 produces some 30% change in the frequency parameter, evea though the value of QD, fpQ2 is s+nilar in both cases.
R@ms Of SwMing K&v _U. Stobirity A summary of tie stability regimes ofirw portaace far swirl burners is shown in Table 3. Aa expfanatlon af the damping of the WC is presented by the Rayleigh criterion [B3J which states that a rotating fluid is st&le if Wrincreases witi f. It Is thus probable that the radial density gradient from tie centre to the outer parts of the flow is responsible for the damping of the PVC fbr most combustive states. With swirl-stabilizedcombustioq it is obviously desirable to operate ouQiidetie. transition r&on at Re r lS,OIIIO. is fortun& tit rrnostSW&l rt burners operate with the damped FIRI, state 3, as

Be <2,im

otherwise resonance problems would arise with the undamped PVC. Even the dmped PVC is, however, capable of excitl’ acoustic ~~ilk%tians ng in cavities, furnaces, ox tubes attached to swirl. burners (78). 4. Combustion Effects The influence of combustion upo,n the PVC has been disclrssed in the previous section+ Here, the effect of combustion uposn the aerodynamia of highly swirling flow is discussed.
4.1. Swirl Bumm 4.1.1. General E&me
l%tZFaCtffiics tl?ZdAcmdymmb

In this section, flames using gneous fuels will be mainly considered, as few data are available on the combustion of solid or liquid fuels [S, 6,87921 The general temperature charactedstia of a flame produced in a swirl burner [Fig* Z(b)] are shown in Fig. 37. Radial distributions ofternprature are shown in Fig. 37(a). M&murm tern-??

N. SYRED an<! 3, M. BE6R



tw5TAtuCE ‘ IR

more ranrlom nature than found in isothermal flow, thup showing how the nature of the mixing process has changed. In the isothermal state it is dominated by a velocity fluctuation of very regular form, in the combustive state by a nearrandom form of turbulence. Using the latest technique of laser doppler anemometry, Dvorak 1231 9 for a swirl burner (divergent exit) operating at low degrees of swirl near the point of vortex breakdown (S < 0.6), has shown that turbulence levels are increased by combustion. Baker et al. i23j have made similar measurements in a swirling flow with recircdation

Town gas (*SO% Hz) was wed

foa those rcsult~~ ail

(S = 0.5 - divergent exi:). H#I llevcls of km!
turbulemx intensity were sAum mar the bouu& ary of the reverse flow zone (= I lZ%] and on the axis of symmetry (=75%). Jt 9 pmbable that the high levels of turbulence intensity zre not only

due to the swirl but to the 35” angle ofdivergence of the exit quark NormaIiy tith a straight exit, the vortex brezkdown phenomenon and recirculation only occur with S > 0.6. As only a few data points are available on the variation of recirculated mass flow rate with swiri number and mixture ratio, they zre shown in Table 4. Considering unenclosed swi.rlburners first and compzring the combustive results to the isothermal results (Fig. 6) it becomes evident that a considerable reduction in recirc&ted MQSS flow occurs, particularly nez.r the stoichkimetric mixture ratio and with premixed combsuticn, Bea sides these changes the recircuIation zones are shorter and wider in the combustive case (compare Fig* 7 and Table 4) and the anset of the vortex breakdown phenomenon znd recirculation oc~urz at a slightly higher swirl number (g$), With combustion, the maximum zxizl v&city rises initially to roughly double the mzximum axial velocity in the corresponding isothermal state. The decay of maximum axial velocity in both combustive and axial states is similar from one exit diameter (SS), The density changes resulting from combustion cause the initial jet spread to be greater than the equivalent isothermal state. A comparison of the reverse flaw zone bsunde aries produced by different degrees of swiri and premixed combustion is shown in Fig. 38(a).



and I. M. I&R





15 10




t PREMIXED # = 1.63




FQ. 38. (a) Boundaries of reverse flow zones-effect of swirl number. (b) Vtiation in shape of reverseflow boundary ~~4thmode of fuel eirtry. Fuel-.natural gas: ?? tangentia1 fuel en&y, straight exit; ? ?xial fuel entry, straight exit; 0 axial/ a radialfird entry, straight cxit;a convergent/divergent exit, axial fuel entry. TAxial fuel entry, straight exit 4 = 13,8fuel town gas (50% Hz) [6]. . . . Isothermal. greakr

maximum diameter in approximateiy the s-amelength. This result is consistent with the considerable excitation of the PVC shown in an earlier WAion. A ,wcmk mixture ratio reduces the size of the P’ LWMflow zone considerably [Fig, 38(b)]. Sfmi!sr canciustons may be drawn for tangent.ial ~txy Mrl &~mepsa$ for the vaned type, namely

that at near-stoichiometric mixture ratios the reverse flow zones are shorter and wider than under the isothermal state. The effect of enclosure upon a swirl burner is, as for the isothermal state, dependent upon tTile ratio of furnace to burner diameter, the limiting value at which this ratio affects a swirl burner (S = 0.72) being about 8 and i.ncreasing for higher


TABLE 5 C)Ptiacteristics of Enclosed Swirl Burners


Length of


% Mp 8 -*lL”*.r~-~i+C..~~~ a.7r

q!& 3

Dist. to impingement



of reck.

Xl& 0-0.63Df

Type of fuel entry AXid

Type of


Source -AfrOSiIllO~



0.5 3Df 0.4Df

o-L5Df O-l .5Df


Annular Vaned

Beltagui and


ga3 TmS0% Hz)




Maccallum[ 891


was used for aU these results.

dqreesofswirf (89), Table 5 shows that the size of the central recirculation zone is principally a function of fr.~naceand not of swider diameter 16% 26,891. The effect is complicated by the outer peripheral recirculation zone which forms between the swirling flow and the uuter wall, Wu and Fricker (26) show that at sufficiently h&h swirl numbers a m&al wall jet is formed (as in the isothermal state), the peripheral recirculation zone disappears, and the flame sticks to the front wall of the enclosure, This effect occurs at swirl numbers greater than IS as the outer peripheral recirculation zone is still present at a swirl number of 1.25. Table 5 demonstrates that the shape of the recirculation zone and the recirculated mass flow-rate are complex functions both of the mixture ratio and mode nf fuel entry. The most consistent conclusion to be drawn from Table 5 is that the impingement @nt of e&e flame on the wall lies between 0.2 and 0.5 furnace diameters in the range

mctdelledfrcm isothemal measurements with good rest&. There seem to be a number of reaa suns for this zrecessful extrapolation of isathere maI measurements. (a) To mir&rize the hydraulic resistance to air flaw of the burner, the degree ofswirl is kept to a n:xGrrrumconsistent with obtaining a large ORr>U_@ recirculation zone (Mr * 5*10% [94X) for fl;tme stabilization, *us minimizing the effect of the PVCirxthe isothermaI model.

Beltagui (89) suggeststhat the stir1 parameter be used in comparing confined swirling flows shoufd be (2G&$G,), rather than (2G,JQG,). Becauseof the increase in axial momentum tlux with burning, the effective swirl number in the combustive state is less than in the isothermal state [26,89], a factor of 10% being suggested by Beltagui [89g. It is later shown that this effect is even more dramatic with cyclone combustors.
to 4.1.2. Mdeliing

The technique of modelling swirl combu&ors by isothermal models is well established [X, I6,29, 93-99 ] , particularly where solid and liquid fuels are used, as measurement of most parameters close to the flame becomes especially difficult [I 1. Despite the changes in the mixing pattern produced by the damping of the PVC, it is evident there has been much successin modelling combustive flows wi*hisothermal swirlingflows. In particular, Russian experimenters [30,31,93991 have evolved a series of highly efficient swisl burners for the combustion of low+ality pulverized cods. The flow patterns, velocity proffieo, and recirculation zones have been principally

Hence the influence of the PVCwas minimized (unintentionally) and must of the mixing was due to shear between various air layers and the effect nf an outlet divergencewhen fitted, Isothermal air and water models of Ewirlburners have proved to be useful in modelling the shape and size of the reverse flow zones fl ,4,6,27] I as af:stoichiometric mixture ratios the size and Shape of the rcsverse flow zones are quite well simula.tedby air or v:a.termodels [Fig. 38(b)] + The prediction of the total pressure drop throt;gb a swirl burner is often of cruf;ia! importance to the dedgner. Hydraulic resistance coefficients for the combustive state are often given in terms of the isotherrnd resistance coefficient. HakIuytt and North [tE>e] &towedthat the aerodynamic resistance of an Admiralty SWM burner was increased by approtiately 25% by combustion. Syred and Be&rl27] showed that the hicrease in prt?ssuredrop due to srombu$tTrwr was dependen? upon the mNIe eaffuel e.ntry md cuuld be as high as 300% with preitied ~ornbu~ tion. Rus&n workers 19%993 have lskawxil how the resistanoe of swirl burners can he divided into two main parts: the enerw ne0Ssary to sfwzrji the go in the burner, including the resistance of the Met ports, and the r&stance of ti outI& [XI* to m a93,96-991. Unfosmmte~y, stig
defined their s&l parmeter raay km it L tlu%clAt w&l amti hy&adic a0 tnk,m&sle: zm?hfx; retstmm remulti to the eqtivdeaat


cc&Gents are obt$ned Q * Z-5 [*I) for ap

N. SYRED and J. M. BEIiR

0 A I A D V 0 0


I sec.
&&ACE. MODEL. FURNACE. M3DEL FURNACE. MODEL. FURNACE. 15.2 20 18. 3 20 !7. 20 19.3 20 9

0 l-56 1 ,56 2.24 2 I 24 3.9 3 9


Fig. 39. Tracer concentration

decay as a function of swirl number &I model and type futnace [ 1011.


pmndly msonably high levels

of swirls. Such re-

sistance cwfficients may be extrapolated from the !hWxmii to the ctrmbustiw state (for pulvmised tiaafcl:mrbustim) simply by taking into account the ~du&~ra in density and increase in velocity 33fthe gases due to tempemture effects. The ~Ehoti have found the technique of Tager [54] , &xadkd in Sec. 2.2, useful far obtaining the tW.l hydraulic resistance coefscient, both in the &othermaIad combustive states, for swirl burners tiitns to that shuwn in Fig. 2(b), despite the f~‘ urmul@ a&InaUy being intended for cyclone c-aonbustars. -43 funqept oFa weU-stir& reactor coupled to aph@Iaw reactor has proven to be a power-

ful model of the performance and efficiency of swirl burners [101. -1021. It has been shown that the performance can be optimized for a tighly loaded burner by appropriately varying the proportions of the mean residence time spent in the well-stirred and plug-flow parts respectively, Figure 39 shows the results of helium tracer experiments carried out with pulverized coaf flames and compared with equivalent results from a l/l0 scale water model. The graphs represent the decay of tracer concentration in the exit stream after the tracer introduction to the burner has been cut off. Provided appropriate coriection has been made to the swirl number (101) to allow for the effect of combustion,


Fig. 40. Residence time in stated section a~ a fraction of total residence time as a func ;ion of swirl number [ 101I _

S=$whereR, -=R
x c

“ ’




the equivalent nozzlS: radius, the tracer con-

centration decay diagrams for the combustive and isothermal states show gocld agreement. The residence time distributiolr may be effectively controlled by swirl (Figs, 39 and 401, the proportion of residence time in t!pe stirred section t,lTas a function of swir1 number going thruugh a minimum as the swirl degree is increased. Drake and Hubbard 121 showed that for oil-fired combustian chambers the degree of SW that gives the miniId mum f,/TvaIue yiefds the maximum performance with minimum smoke emi:;sion. Presumably, the

good agreement between t xe water model and combustion experiments by Be& and Lee [lo1 f
must be due to the very raTid dissipation of the PVC in the water model w’ the tunnel enclosure. th
‘ similar modelling criteria should be applied to the A furnace diameter to allow for trxpansion effects [89, 1031, Beltagui (89) reduced t31eDf(D, of his furnace

from 5 to 2.6 in accordance with the Thrlng-Newby parameter [103] to allow com~arisan JI isothermal and combustive data.


70 60 : 50 40


CDMBUSTiON I; AXtAL RADIAL FUEL I 45:65) 60 m 0 50










Fig. 42. Noise spectra obtained with differing modes of fuei entry [Ii051 . (a) Isothermal flow-straight exit. (b) Combustion with axiak-radial fuel entry (45/U%)-straight exit. (c) Combustion with axial fuel entry-convergezrtldiverge:ni: exit. variation in the mixture ratio or fuel composition

may lead to flame blow-off- The application of swirl, by moving the fuel rich Emit to a lower mixture ratio, provides a flame insensitive to random fluctuations in mixture ratio &adfuel composition. The blow-off limits are sensitive to the configuration of the burner. Cricket [ 1041 showed that for an ijmuiden tyJipe swirl burner (Fig. 48) optimum swirl numbera were between 1.1 and 1.7 for the widest blow-off limits. For swirl burners, similar to Fig*2(b), Syred (76) and ManheimerTimnat (92) show enhanced blow-off Emits compared to the results of Fricker. T.n fact the authors have found that at S = I.86 the blow-off limits of

this type ofburn&a32 virtual4y Mhite. The xi& limit could nut be found md the K”& Ihnh CEcurred at a mixture ratio of 100 srthigh RqmI3s Number [76] (Le., approximmly 3,000 ~&ms of air were entering the combustor for evev oIi+z of Ilaturai gas!). With premixed combustior~,blow-off hits are much reduced f27,40] . l3afuwaand Mx~aUm (90) showed that with hubless rzmed swiders, the long thin recirculation zones formed recisubted


N. SYRED and J. M. BEiR




“ ~__._.._.___.-.. .


FQ_ 45. Two mkn types of flame produced bjr ijmuiden swirl hrner (Fig. 48) [104] .







Fig. 46. Influence of flame type on noise level produced by Ijmuiden wiTI burner I104j.

leaves enough behind in the reverse flow region to burn and stabilize the flame, Because the Type II, flame was noisy and the Type I was quiet, Fricker hypothesized that (fuel + heat) + combustion air -+ quiet mixing controlled ignition

{fuel + combustion: air) ,t heat -i ;loisy “explosion” ignition.

Figure 46 shows the re:glts of a more detailed study of the effect of the ;ztic: of gas velocity to air velocity, and the quarl angle. Two regions are delineated, where Type I ar?d Type II flames exist. When the gas velocity is near fhe critical value for penetration, the flame is unstable and the noise level is up to 5 dB above that with a stable flame. Changing the fuel injection from a single axial jet to a multihole divergent set of jets was found to quiet the flame when in this unstable region. For Type fi stable flames, the noise level was found to

increase linearly number increas&

from106 to 114 d.l3as the SVirf from to 1.7. This latter zero

value nearly corresponds ts the swirl of the burner studied by Syred and Be& (27), It is ciear that there are a wide v3ricty of n&z producing phenomena, ran&g from fji~ p~~ess&g vortex core and associated excited resofcrnan~ instabilities, discussed in Set, [24,77,X!, 511, trr combustion roar discussed above. No DA gcncr& ization of results can be given 8s yet owing ts the range of sizes and canfigurati.ons dsund 5n the literature. The maximization of fuel burnout and reduction ofhydrocarbon and NO, emission are becoming increasingly important a Gupta et al, [S&W] have extended their work on noise [lo51 to itzdude detailed measurements of temperature, ;emp~ture ffuctuations, pressure fluctuations, species and NO, concentrations, natural gac again being used as fueP. The measurements show that virtually complete burnout and the lowest NO, concentration are produced by a&al fuef entry and a convergent/divergent exit nozzle. The low NO, concentrations are due to the convergent exit nozzle increasing substantially the size of the recirculation zone, recirculating colder combustion products and thus quenching the reactions that form NO,. However, axial/radial fueI entry only produced slightly more NO, Tt was clearly shown that high levels of NO, as well as Ha and CO were produced at the exit near to the mgisn of highest temperature. However, as bumou$ proceeded downstream, the free hydrogen md carbon monoxide reduced some of the NO, that had been formed back to nitrogen, with the result that only small concentrations of NO, (and negligible CO and Hz) resulted in the final bum.out combustion products. Et is evident that further reduction of NO, may be obtained by combinations of staged combustion ctnd increased levels of recirculation. Virtually compfete burnout of the natural gas fuel occurred both with thhe case of axial/radial fuel entry and with axial fud entry and a convergent/divergent nozzle. Axial fuel entry and tangential fuel entry with a straight exit both left small but sign&ant praportion~ of the fuel unburnt. Meyer and Mauss [IW] shawcd how low levels of NO,@50 p-pm) may be obtained by stratified burning using a distillate



/ \ \ ** /’ *’

MC’ ‘ \ -/ /

10% .-, \ ??I /# ’ \ I 1 I ‘ J 1 \ \

, x)‘ I.

m1 2 s

4501 s-5




Fig, 47, Influenceof level of swirl 011n’ tric oxide formation in pulverised coal flames [110] . (a) Effect of varying fuel
#q,kwbxs. Injector Velocity m/six-’ 19 19 26 52 27 Cc) Annular fuel injection-effect of primary

PA B C H F @I %k&& fwl Injection-effect

Type Single hole ” ” ” I’ #’ ‘ I RadIial hole

of primary air percentagean NO formation.

air percentageon NO formation.

ferent types of industrial swirl burners. Figure 48 shows the “Ejmuiden”type burner referred to in this paper [29] . It consists of a series of wedgeshaped moveable blocks on two annular rings, Interlocked, the blocks form alternate radial and tangential flow channels, such that the air flow splits into an equaI number of radial and tangential streams which combine further downstream into cne swirling flow. By simply rotating the back plate I32 relative to the front one 31, the resulting flux of angular momentum may be continuously altered [l, 2aj 1 The second type of burner, discussed by Drake and Hubbard [Z] , is typical of industrialpractice and combines a small primary air Mrler with large tangential vanes in a swir1 chamber coming to a throat and exit divergence pig. 49). As in the case of the “Ejmuiden”type burner, fuel may be injected on the axis at she exit ,throat. However, in this type of burner there is sometimes an auxiriary set of gaseous fuel injectors equally spaced around $he periphery of the throat (spuds).

4.1.6. Effect of Different Fiefs

Most swid burners usutiiy produce blue, t8~. luminosity flames when burning natural gas, However, fairly luminous flames are produced by the Type I flame of the ljmuiden Swirl Burner (Fig. 48) f 1] , when the central fuel jet is fired through the recirculation zone in the divergent exit. Flames simikr to those produced by gaseous fuels occur with oil or pulverised coal as fuel to a given swirl burner, i.e., Type I and Type II flames could both be produced in the Ijmuiden Swirl Burner with oil or pulvexisedcoal as futi;l[I t 80, 104,112]. However, the flames were*obviously, of enhanced luminosity.


Cyclone Combuskw

There is far less information concerning combustion effects in cyclone combustors than h swirl burners. The main reason is tbt cyclone cambus~ tars almost always been used for the comW have bustion of solid fuels and hence aerodynamic and m93t &her measurements in the air streams un&r combs~5or conditions are extremely difficult.



and f, M. B&R

Fig. 49. Industrial swirl burner with primary arPd secondary air registers 121.

many types of swirl burner [34] (Fig. 5 I)+ Optimum k&l burnout and combustion efficiency occurred when some 2-376 of the air was admitted on the tis of symmetry. Two-stage cambustion was sometimes used to enhance residence times and thus complete burnout of the fuel 1341, One of the most remarkable capabilities of the cyclone combustor is its ability to separate out the ash tmrn solid ftrets during the cyclone process [E-M, 38-M] 1 Agrest f32,33] has shown how W& vap skins or cotton &ed husks may be &Mcntly hxtrt~d and the residual fIy ash sqxmtsd out by the cyclonic action of the combusilor and used as ferttizer? Schmidt 1341 shows huw the same design of combustor may be adapted to the combustion of higb+olatile~ontent coal or poor~qudity oti. Strnitarly, Tager [49] shows how 1 i;‘ @~~e chamber can be designed to efficientIy burn high-suulphurm-cuntent without any flame oil impingement on the walls, thus avoiding serious problems of corrosion thar had occurred with preGous designs, ‘ wu basic designs of the Soviet Cyclone The Ctin~busto~, F&s. 12 and 13 described in Sec. 2.2,

have nearly always been used for the combustion of poor-quality coals [35-48] . Generalization of the resuhs is difficult, as changes in the position or size of the tangential inlets or the shape of the outlet can make large changes in the Wning zones, combustion intensity, and final burnout of the coal [e.g., 381, A number of conclusions can, however, be drawn: (a) At least two symmetrically arranged tangential inlets should be used. The use of only one set results in uneven burning (especially in longer chambers) and an increase in total pressure drop [35-J& 40-431. (b) Up to three oxygen-deftcient gasification zones occur (fuel-coal), particularly with the second type of cyclone C38-43 J (Fig. 13). This is illustrated in Fig. 50, which shows the spatial distribution of excess air in a cyclone combustor (similar to Fig. 13)with a singIe tangential air and coal feed burning a low-ash, high-volatilecontent coal. The asymmetry of the combustiun process is immediately evident. Three zones in which cw 1 can be discerned. The fawest values < of CY found, not immediately after the air and are

[3335] may be easily calculated from Tager’ s forf~lulse[54] , despite the differences in ~anfigurafion. It was shown in Sec.‘ that the swirl number, 2,2 5, ofmost cyclone combustors was very high under isothermal cunditions (often S > 10). ifnder combustion conditions the inlet angular momentum to the cyclone chamber remains approximately constant. However, axial mothe mentum of the outlet fluid stream is considerably !ncreasedas a result of acceleration effects of combustion in the cyclone chamber. In fact the girl number is reduced by the following ratio, ;xpproximately :

(a) The prediction of the i&id vortex breakdown phenomena and establishing the initial onset of recirculation, basically at low Re. (b) The prediction of isothermal and combustive flows containing the large PVC. (cc) The prediction of flows where the amplitude of the PVC has been damped to such an extent that it no longer dominates the flow. (d) Predicting whether or not the large PW will be damped or not in a given flow, basically the transition between State b and c above. Attempts at the prediction of the initial vortex breakdown phenomena have been summarized and illustrated by Mager [60]. I-k showed that similarity solutions could be found for a free/ forced vortex combination which indicated infinite axial velocity gradients at high Re. This point was thus taken as the initial onset of the vortex breakdown. The initial onset of vortex breakdown is of much more direct interest to aircraft aeradynamicists than to combustion engineers. The operating regime of most swirl cornbustors should be past this region, although the prediction of the Re at which vortex breakdown occurs is still of in*.erest. Possibly the best attempt at predicting the frequency of vortex core precession has been made by Sozou and Swithenbank [ I141 . Using a fustorder perturbation method for the solution of a forced vortex embedded in a Rank& vortex, they achieved reasonable success in prediction of the frequency of vortex core precession despite neglecting second-order and high terms. Bellamy Knights [I 151 obtained a time-dependent solution of the Nader-Stokes equations for the case of a forced vortex embedded in a free vortex. Axial fluctuations with time were predic.ted, with rather artificial boundary conditions and assump tiom about the variation of velocity in the axial direction (variations in the r and 8 directions being neglected). The results were applied to the formation and dissipation of meteorlogical vortices. It is probable that a comparable similarity ~dutio~ could be applied for fluctuations in the t and 6 directions, neglecting axial velociv fluctuations, aithough any solution would doubtless depend an artificial assumptions concerning velocity profiles and boundary conditions. It must be

F rnbl r*averageinltt temperature of gases,

T0uttet average outleI temperature of gases. -;:

concluded that prediction of the flortr patterns associated with the precessing varbx cm is drfficult and any results obtained are likely to de* pend ORthe init assumptims made. It is probable that more complete sdutbns of the problem will ordy occur when finite-difference camputer methods become available for tie solution of







Fig. 53. Proposal for two-stage gas tur’ uine cyckme cumtrustor.

198 associated instabilities, as the trend (especially in gas turbine combustors) tcward prevapouxise d, or effectively premixed cambustsrs, will tend to excite the preeessing vortex core. The review of cyclone combustors is intended to show that these devices cowId well be adapted to gas turbine combustors and other situations where long residen~cetimes are needed for the effkient combustion of poor-quality fuels. Air and fuel could anter tangentially into the combustor. Depen&g on the exact geometry, a series of concentric annular reverse-flow zones/well-stirred reactors could be set up with the final burnout occurring in a plugflow region near the exit. Dilution air (for gas turbine combustors) could even be added on the axis of symmetry if the flow pattern of Schmidt [34] (Fig. 52) was chosen (no revere flow on axis, con?rast with Baluev 135,361 (Fig 12)) With proper design the flame front could be moved away from the outer wall, slightly, tt7 reduce tX\a WI temperature. Such a cornbustrar could be made extremely flexible, as large &m@e$ couid be made to tfie flow circtllation yatterns and weI!-stirred reactor/plug-flow regions by the small changes in geametry suggeskd in Sec. 2, e,g*, by VNJ+I~ the lotd tangential inlet area and tha p~ltion at which fluid was blow11into the &amber; or by blowing 5-l&% of the total air supply through rhe base plate at a srndl radius so 3%to reverse the boundary layer.

N. SYRED and J. M. BE&R

Exit throat diameter Diameter of rod Frequency, Hz Flux of axi momentum Flux of angular momentum Kinetic energy of turbulence-(u”
V’ )/U;

+ Wf2 +

Length Length of exit divergence both referenced Entrained mass flowrate Recirculated mass flowrate I to input Number of tangential inlets Precessing vortex core Flowrate Radius Radius of exit throat Reynolds number based on average exit velocity through exit throat Swirl number Temperature “C Residence time in stirred reactor T IUDIUG~G c.uitG UI bU~ilUU:ilLri
Lr.l i O;Cr ,.-,;rlnp 1 :.* ,~~~~~b..4 _,

Axial velocity Average exit throat axial velocity Radial velocity Tangential velocity Axial distance Pressure drop Pressure drop through tangential inl&s Pressure drop from tangential inlets to exit of combustor Excess air factor Mixture ratio-(Mass Air/Mass Fuel) X (I /Stoichiometric Ratio) Kinematic viscosity Density Pressure loss coefficient Stream function

isothermal-refers in -refers ex,!? -refers -refers f

to to to to

isothe!:mal conditions inlet conditions exit conditions furnace conditions

Supetseripts I -refers to flwtuating quantities,

21. 22,

I. Be&, J. M*,and chigier, N, A., ~0rnbw~wz A fro+ dynamics, Applied Science Publishers, London,


2. Drake, P. F., and Hubbad, E, F., J. hsf, F~cd 39, 98 (1966)* 3. Ken, M, MU, and Fraser, D,, J. !nsb Fuel 38,s 19

25. 26”

4. M&x, M. L., and MaccaEum, N. R. L.1 J. Xclst. &eZ 40,2 14 (1967). 5. Afrosimma,V. N., ‘ f..~ermal&zg. 14 (I), ii, (1967). 6. @red, N., atlgier, N. A., and B&r, J. N., Y,zlc: 13tk. ht. Symposium on Con&t&ion, The \70m-

bustisn Institute, Fittsburgh~ I%, (197 I), p* 563.
A&X!? J. 7. Chi@x, N. A.$ and Chervinsky, A., Trcrpts. AppliedMechanics E34,443 (1957). a. Emmons, H. W., and Shah-Jing Ytrrg, Proc. ?Ih. ht. Symposium on Combustion, The Combus-iion



Institute, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1967, p* 478.
9. Shoa-Lin Lee, Trans. ASME, J. Appl Me&u&s 647-661, (Sept. 1966). 10. Be&, J. M., Chigier, N. A., D&es, T. W., &Id 36, Rassindslc, K,, CnmSw~ K5rom.e 39-45 (19711. 11. CJrigier,N. A., and Cherwinsky, A,, Proc. 1itll. IlrT. Symposium on Combustion, The Combustion Insti-


tute, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1967, p. 489. 12. LiBey, D, G., Prediction of inert turbulent swiri flows, A.J.A.A. Paper No. 72699, presented at the A.1.A.A. 5th. Fluid and Pksma Dynamics Conference, Boston, Mass. Juno, 1972. 13. Cassidy, J. J., and Falvey, 8. T., J. b7uid Mechnic~,
41, pt. 4,727 (1970). 14. Be&, J. M., and Leuckel, W., Turbulent Flow in

30, 31.

32. 33.
34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

rotating flow systems, Paper No. 7, North American Fuels Conference, Ottawa, Canada, May, 1970, organised by the Canadian Combustion Institute, ASME and the Institute of Fuel. 15. Akhmedov, R. E., and Rashidov, F. K., Thermal
Eng 16 (4), 130 (X969). 16. AJrhmedov, R. B., and Rashidov, F. K., Th~rnlai Eng. 16 (Sf, 78 (19691. 17. Syred, N., Be&, J. M., and chigier, N. A., Turbulence measurements in swirling recirculating flows, Proceedings Conference on lirternal Flows, held at Safford University, 1971, organized by the Institute of Mechanica! Engineers and Salford University,

41, 42. 43, 44. 45. 46.

p. B27-B36. 18. Syred, N,, and Be&, J, M., As;ron. Actu 17 (4151, 783 (1972). 19. Ustimenko, B, P., and Bukhm~+tn, A., Thermcrl M, &g. 25 (2),90 (1968). 20. Allen, R. A,, Aerodynamics and interaction ,rTsingle and multiple jets with rotation, Ph.D. Thesis, De partment of Fuel Technology and. Chemical Engineering, Sheffield University, 1970.

N. SYRED and J. M. BEl?R
~4111tmUer, Pm. 5th.







77. 78.

Stockholm, Sweden, June, 1972. savino, J. M., and K&ock, I$ G., Experimental profles of velocity components and radial pre% sure distribution in Bvortex contained in a short cylindrical chamber, 3rd. Fluid Amplification Symposium, sponsored by the U.S. Army Material Command, Washington, D.C., October, 1965. RodeIy, A. E., White, D,, and Chanaud, EL. A C;., digital flowmeter without moving parts, ASME Paper No. 65-WA/FM-6presented at ASME Winter Annual Meeting Chicago, 1965. Syred, N., and Be&, J. M., Vortex breakdom and flow stabilization in swirl combustors, Proc. Cumbustion Institute, European Symposium, Sheffeld University, September, 1973. p. 542. Dorrestein, W. R.,J. ht. heI $1,387 (1968). Syred, N., Wanby, V. I., and Gupta, A. K.,J. Pras&

Fuel 46,402 (1973). 79. Sturgess, G., Comment on Ref. 27 in the Proc. 14th. In?. Symposium on Combustion, The Com-

bustion Institute, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1973,~. 550. 80. Be&, J. M., and Chigier, N. A., J, Inst. Fuel 42, 443 I1 969). 8 1. Weller, A. E., Dennis, W. R., md FuOnam, A. A., The development of a surface hardening burner with a high rate of heat transfer resulting from a SeIfgenerating acoustic oscillation, Final Battelle Re port to the Cincinnati Milling Machine Company, September, 1955. 82. Putnam, A. A., Private Communication, 1973, Battelle hilemorial Institute, Columbus, Ohro, U.S.A.
83, Lord Rayieigk,Proc. Roy. Sot. 893,148 (1416). 84. Becker, W. A., and Brown, A, P. G., Response


86. 87.




characteristics of pitot and static pressure probes with application to measuring turbulence intensity, Report l-71, Dept. Mech. Eng., Quee:,‘ s ‘ iakersity, Kuneston, Ontario, Canada, September, 1971. Lenze, A., Ph.D. Thesis, Turbulenzverhatten und ungemischiteit von strahlen und strahmammen, Karlsruhe University, 1971. Gupta, A. K., Dept. of cfiemical Engineering, Sheffield University, Private Communication, 1973, Gupta, A. K., &-red, N., and B&r, J. M., Die Vermundering der Schallabstrabling von Drallbrennkammern durch stufenweise Verbrennung, Gas Wnrme International 23 (2),39,11974). Bafuwa, G. G., and Maccallum, N. R. L., Turbulent swirling flames issuing from vane swirlers, Paper presented to the 18th. Meeting of the Aerrodynamics Panel, International Flame Research Foundation, Paris, September, 1970. Belt@, S. A., ad Maccallum, N. R. L*Y Aerodynamics of swirling flames-vane generated type, fiat. Combustioti Insrin.&, European Symposium, Sheffield University, p. 599 (1973). Bafuwa, C. G., and Maccallum, N. R. L., Flame

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful