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Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways on Stratified Combustion for Quiet Low Emissions Aero-Engines

Final Report Summary - IAPP-STRATEGI (Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways on Stratified Combustion for Quiet Low Emissions Aero-Engines)


Executive Summary:

IAPP-STRATEGI is a network of researchers in academia and industry contributing to the development of the next generation gas turbine combustors, particularly in the area of aeroengines. Four organizations participated in the network: University of Cambridge (UCAM), Technische Universität Darmstadt (TUD), Rolls-Royce (UK – RRUK and Germany – RRD). An SME, Camcon Technologies (CAMCON), participated by contributing expertise and technology in flow control. Understanding how to design stable combustion systems that produce low pollutant emissions is a key capability for gas turbine manufacturers. Stratified flames, which can maintain stability using a specific distribution of fuel but minimize emissions, are key to the concept. In this network, researchers have investigated topics from the fundamental structure of stratified flames to the response of both model and real flames to combustion instabilities. Models and ideas developed in academia are connected to the needs of industrial users, and the environment from industrial development challenges the techniques emerging from academia. The key objectives of the project are: (i) To create a network of highly trained scientists and engineers in a key area of gas turbine combustion research, with both industrial experience and trained in state-of-the-art scientific methods and innovative technologies, (ii) To spark future research initiatives via the interaction of researchers involved in the project with industry as well as other existing networks, (ii) To advance the state of the art in understanding the effects of mixture stratification on emissions and combustion instabilities.

The network involved four fellows: Michael Hage was seconded from TUD to RRUK, Carlo Quaglia from UCAM to RRD. Recruited fellow Kyu Tae Kim joined from Penn State, USA, bringing experimental skills in combustion instabilities, and Nadir Karimi joined TUD from the University of Melbourne, Australia. The network was active from 2009-2011, leading to several other collaborative projects.

The following achievements have been reached:
(a) Experiments at TUD by fellow Nader Karimi have probed the detailed structure of turbulent stratified flames, providing the detailed database necessary for validation of turbulent combustion models.
(b) Experiments at UCAM by recruited fellow Kyu Tae Kim have mapped out the very wide range of response of stratified flames to acoustic perturbations.
(c) Models of flame acoustic response have been implemented onto an industrial code at RRD by seconded fellow from UCAM, Carlo Quaglia.
(d) Laser and imaging techniques originally developed at TUD have been implemented at industrial facilities at RRUK, by seconded fellow Michael Hage, to obtain high fidelity velocity measurements in industrial fuel spray nozzles.

The IAPP-STRATEGI network is part of a wider network of projects within and across national boundaries with the aim of improving the technical capabilities of the EU in the industrial gas turbine realm. The ultimate goal of the collaboration is to produce aeroengine and industrial turbines with the lowest possible environmental impact with the maximum envelope of flame and engine stability, so as to contribute to the best industrial competitiveness in the world market.

Fellow N. Karimi, originally recruited into TUD, is now with the University of Cambridge working on a range of projects on combustion instabilities, including the EU FP7 FIRST network. C. Quaglia has returned to the University of Cambridge. Recruited fellow K. Kim has returned to Penn State and recently hired by General Electric, and seconded fellow M. Hage is now working with Continental AG in Germany.

The capabilities brought to the network have also led to follow-on projects at Cambridge on combustion instabilities and the origin and characterization of entropy spots (funded by EPSRC-UK), additional collaborations between Cambridge and TUD on the measurement of bluff-body temperatures using phosphorescence (funded by The Leverhulme Trust and DFG GRK 1114 - Germany), and a follow on project at TUD on unsteady effects on flashback, funded by DFG, based on fellow N. Karimi’s proposal.

Contact information:

Project coordinator: Prof. Simone Hochgreb, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. Email: simone.hochgreb@eng.cam.ac.uk.