Project No: FE0007060
Performer: Regents of the University of Michigan


Richard A. Dennis
Technology Manager, Turbines
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

Mark C. Freeman
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
626 Cochrans Mill Road
P.O. Box 10940
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940

James F. Driscoll
Co-Principal Investigator
Aerospace Engineering
University of Michigan
3004 FXB Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Matthias Ihme
Co-Principal Investigator
Mechanical Engineering
Stanford University
488 Escondido Mall, Bldg. 500, Rm. 500A
Stanford, MI 94305

Award Date:  10/01/2011
Project Date:  08/31/2015

DOE Share: $454,540.00
Performer Share: $115,997.00
Total Award Value: $570,537.00

Performer website: Regents of the University of Michigan -

Advanced Energy Systems - Hydrogen Turbines

Development and Experimental Validation of Large-Eddy Simulation Techniques - Syngas Combustion

Project Description

The scope of this Univesity of Michigan computational effort addresses the development of a fully validated large-eddy simulation (LES)-modeling capability to predict unstable combustion of high hydrogen content (HHC) fuels. To incorporate effects of preferential diffusion, pressure variations, and variations in mixture composition, an unsteady flamelet-based LES combustion model will be extended. The integrated LES-validation effort includes (1) an a priori analysis of critical modeling assumptions using a Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) database of jet-in-cross-flow configurations, and (2) a posteriori model validation in LES application of a swirl-stabilized gas turbine combustor. The LES-combustion model will be used to develop detailed simulations to characterize facility-induced nonidealities in flow-reactor experiments. Effects arising from high-Reynolds number turbulence transition, mixture stratification, and other mechanisms associated with turbulence/ chemistry interaction on the autoignition behavior will be quantified through parametric calculations. The information gained from these efforts will be used to develop a low-order model that can be utilized for chemical-kinetics investigations and for guiding and improving future flow reactor designs in order to reduce facility effects.

The experimental effort includes high-pressure measurements of HHC fuel combustion in a dual-swirl gas turbine combustor, development of a comprehensive experimental database for LES model validation by considering stable and unstable gas turbine operating conditions, and obtaining improved understanding about fundamental combustion-physical mechanisms that control flame-holding, liftoff, and flashback for HHC fuels. A range of pressures, HHC fuel compositions, and equivalence ratios will be investigated experimentally.

Large-eddy simulation of a piloted partially-premixed burner, showing (a) experimental configuration,  (b) comparison of temperature fields between two operating conditions, (c) comparison of modeled and experimental probability density function of scalar field quantities (mixture fraction and oxidizer split variables), and (d) comparison of scalar profiles for carbon dioxide and hydroxyl.

Program Background and Project Benefits

This project will focus on the development of a computer model that can predict unstable combustion of high hydrogen content (HHC) fuels. Improving large-eddy simulation (LES) models for HHC fuels will lead to hydrogen combustor designs that produce fewer emissions at higher temperatures. Specifically, this project will develop an improved LES model by analyzing critical modeling assumption and validate the model by conducting high pressure measurements of HHC fuel combustion in a dual-swirl gas turbine combustor.