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


Contacts

Richard A. Dennis
Technology Manager, Turbines
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
304-285-4515
richard.dennis@netl.doe.gov

Mark C. Freeman
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
626 Cochrans Mill Road
P.O. Box 10940
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940
412-386-6094
mark.freeman@netl.doe.gov

James F. Driscoll
Co-Principal Investigator
Aerospace Engineering
University of Michigan
3004 FXB Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
734-936-0101
jamesfd@engin.umich.edu

Matthias Ihme
Co-Principal Investigator
Mechanical Engineering
Stanford University
488 Escondido Mall, Bldg. 500, Rm. 500A
Stanford, MI 94305
650-724-3730
mihme@stanford.edu

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

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

Performer website: Regents of the University of Michigan - http://www.stanford.edu

Advanced Energy Systems - Hydrogen Turbines

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

Project Description

The scope of the 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

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 Michigan will conduct a computational effort to address the development of a fully validated large-eddy simulation (LES)-modeling capability to predict unstable combustion of high hydrogen content (HHC) fuels. The information gained from this effort 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. Additionally, an experimental effort will include 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. Combustion research conducted under the Advanced Turbine Program seeks to improve the understanding of hydrogen combustion and develop improved tools to model combustion behavior. This research will lead to combustor designs that can successfully utilize hydrogen and reduce emissions.



Accomplishments