Project No: FE0012053
Performer: University of Texas at Austin


Contacts

Duration
Award Date:  10/01/2013
Project Date:  09/30/2016

Cost
DOE Share: $500,000.00
Performer Share: $125,000.00
Total Award Value: $625,000.00

Performer website: University of Texas at Austin - http://www.utexas.edu/

Advanced Energy Systems - Hydrogen Turbines

Predictive Large Eddy Simulation Modeling and Validation of Turbulent Flames and Flashback in Hydrogen Enriched Gas Turbines

Project Description
The overall objective of the project is to develop predictive computational models for large eddy simulations (LES) for capturing flame flashback and propagation in high-hydrogen content fuels in high-pressure gas turbines. The focus will be on two key topics: behavior of high-pressure turbulent flames with and without equivalence ratio variations, and flashback propagation through a turbulent boundary layer. The predictive accuracy of the models for gas turbine operating conditions will be demonstrated using a combination of targeted experiments, legacy data, and high-resolution direct numerical simulation (DNS) data.

Time sequence of flame luminosity during flashback of a methane-hydrogen swirl flame.

Time sequence of flame luminosity during flashback
of a methane-hydrogen swirl flame.


Program Background and Project Benefits

Turbines convert heat energy to mechanical energy by expanding a hot, compressed working fluid through a series of airfoils. Combustion turbines compress air, mix and combust it with a fuel (natural gas, coal-derived synthesis gas [syngas], or hydrogen), and then expand the combustion gases through the airfoils. Expansion turbines expand a working fluid like steam or supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) that has been heated in a heat exchanger by an external heat source. These two types of turbines are used in conjunction to form a combined cycle— with heat from the combustion gases used as the heat source for the working fluid— improving efficiency and reducing emissions. If oxygen is used for combustion in place of air, then the combustion gases consist mostly of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water, and the CO2 can be easily separated and sent to storage or used for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). Alternatively, the CO2/steam combustion gases can be expanded directly in an oxy-fuel turbine. Turbines are the backbone of power generation in the US, and the diverse power cycles containing turbines provide a variety of electricity generation options for fossil derived fuels. The efficiency of combustion turbines has steadily increased as advanced technologies have provided manufacturers with the ability to produce highly advanced turbines that operate at very high temperatures. The Advanced Turbines program is developing technologies in four key areas that will accelerate turbine performance, efficiency, and cost effectiveness beyond current state-of-the-art and provide tangible benefits to the public in the form of lower cost of electricity (COE), reduced emissions of criteria pollutants, and carbon capture options. The Key Technology areas for the Advanced Hydrogen Turbines Program are: (1) Hydrogen Turbines, (2) Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles, (3) Oxy-Fueled Turbines, and (4) Advanced Steam Turbines.

Hydrogen turbine technology research is being conducted with the goal of producing reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly electric power in response to the Nation's increasing energy challenges. NETL is leading the research, development, and demonstration of technologies to achieve power production from high hydrogen content (HHC) fuels derived from coal that is clean, efficient, and cost-effective; minimize carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions; and help maintain the Nation's leadership in the export of gas turbine equipment. These goals are being met by developing the most advanced technology in the areas of materials, cooling, heat transfer, manufacturing, aerodynamics, and machine design. Success in these areas will allow machines to be designed that have higher efficiencies and power output with lower emissions and lower cost.

The University of Texas at Austin will develop predictive computational models for large eddy simulations (LES) for capturing flame flashback and propagation in high-hydrogen content fuels in high-pressure gas turbines. The focus will be on two key topics: behavior of high-pressure turbulent flames with and without equivalence ratio variations, and flashback propagation through a turbulent boundary layer. The predictive accuracy of the models for gas turbine operating conditions will be demonstrated using a combination of targeted experiments, legacy data, and high-resolution direct numerical simulation (DNS) data. Improving the understanding of hydrogen combustion will aid OEMs in developing improved combustion technologies that deliver higher temperatures while keeping emissions low and improving the performance of hydrogen turbines for IGCC applications.