Laboratory apparatus for gas turbine combustion development

Dustin Lee Cruise, Purdue University


The next generation of combustor technology will be required to meet the demands of a world more focused on greenhouse gases and global warming. Due to this new focus on emission control, combustors must produce less NO x, while operating in a higher pressure environment that is more prone to combustion instabilities. This work focuses on the development of a lab and combustor that will be used for the next generation combustor development. The lab development includes layout and organization, facilities, measurement and instrumentation, automation of the testing process, and an imaging tool for diagnostics. A Lean Direction Injection (LDI) single element combustor has been designed, built, and tested. Results included chemiluminescence imaging and measurements of combustion instabilities. Initial results are promising for future controls and combustion development. A three axis translation table has been developed to support diagnostic efforts. Initial performance measurements indicate the table will be capable of fast scanning of flames compared to other translation options. In addition to achieving the desired performance, the size of the table was kept compact without sacrificing travel, allowing more access to the burners, and more burners to be mounted onto the table. One of the first projects will be the application of the Laser-induced Fluorescence Triple-integration Method (LIFTIME) method to the LDI to assist combustion controls development. After the experience gained with the charge coupled device (CCD) camera, we see potential to use this in parallel with the LIFTIME system to better map the flame. The image processing capabilities of the LabVIEW software have been briefly explored, and look promising as a method for automated flame geometry analysis to improve the flame mapping. In addition to the application of LIFTIME to the LDI, the exploration of the combustion control using the variable injector position, and the variable impedance exit area will begin. Due to the work presented in this thesis, a fully-functional combustion lab is available for current and future students, and more in-depth combustion research can now begin. In addition to providing resources for the students of our research group, this lab will continue to support Senior Design students as well as those in graduate level combustion courses.




Mongia, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering

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