Abstract

International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets a 50% reduction in 2005 CO2 emissions levels by 2050, with no increase in net emissions after 2020 [1]. The association also expects the global aviation demand to double to 8.2 billion passengers per year by 2037. These issues have prompted the aviation industry to focus intensely on adopting sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Further, reduction in CO2 emission is also an active area of research for land-based power generation gas turbine engines. And fuels with high hydrogen content or hydrogen blends are regarded as an essential part of future power plants. Therefore, clean hydrogen and other hydrogen-based fuels are expected to play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the future. However, the massive difference in hydrogen’s physical properties compared to hydrocarbon fuels, ignition, and flashback issues are some of the major concerns, and a detailed understanding of hydrogen combustion characteristics for the conditions at which gas turbines operate is needed. Numerical combustion analyses can play an essential role in exploring the combustion performance of hydrogen as an alternative gas turbine engine fuel. While several combustion models are available in the literature, two of the most preferred models in recent times are the flamelet generated manifold (FGM) model and finite-rate (FR) combustion model. FGM combustion model is computationally economical compared to the detailed/reduced chemistry modeling using a finite-rate combustion model. Therefore, this paper aims to understand the performance of the FGM model compared to detailed chemistry modeling of turbulent flames with different levels of hydrogen blended fuels. In this paper, a detailed comparison of different combustion characteristics like temperature, species, flow, and NOx distribution using FGM and finite rate combustion models is presented for three flame configurations, including the DLR Stuttgart jet flame [2], Bluff body stabilized Sydney HM1 flame [3] and dry-low-NOx hydrogen micro-mix combustion chamber [4]. One of the FGM model’s essential parameters is to select a suitable definition of the reaction progress variable. The reaction progress variable should monotonically increase from the unburnt region to the burnt region. The definition is first studied using a 1D premixed flame with different blend ratios and then used for the actual cases. 2D/3D simulations for the identified flames are performed using FGM and finite rate combustion models. Numerical results from both these models are compared with the available experimental data to understand FGM’s applicability. The results show that the FGM model performs reasonably well for pure hydrogen and hydrogen blended flames.

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