Lean Direct Injection (LDI) concept proves to be an ultra-low NOx combustion scheme for future gas turbine combustors because of its ability to operate at very lean conditions. For LDI burners, the Fuel Nozzle Diameters (FND) play a vital role in deciding a balance between the various performance criteria demanded by the gas turbine industry like efficient usage of fuel, a wide range of flame stability, uniform exit temperature distribution and very low overall emissions. This paper attempts to find the optimum FND in terms of some key combustion parameters, for a novel multi-swirl LDI burner having a cross-flow mixing between fuel jets and swirling air. At first, lean blow out limits were detected from experiments with different FND using two different fuels, methane and liquefied petroleum gas, within a range of air flow rates. It was observed that with the decrease in FND the flame extinguished at a higher equivalence-ratio. Then their performances were compared through CFD simulations with two different combustion models, namely, Eddy Dissipation and PDF Flamelet. The combined results of cold and hot flow simulations showed that with the decrease in FND the fuel jet was able to penetrate deeper into the air swirl by overcoming the air momentum, which resulted in enhanced mixing leading to more efficient utilization of fuel and also uniform exit temperature distribution resulting in lower pattern factor. Thus the findings of this research work should be resourceful in the development of modern cross-flow LDI combustors.

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