Reacting Flow Characteristics and Multifuel Capabilities of a Multi-Nozzle Dry Low NOx Combustor: A Numerical Analysis
Keywords:Computational fluid dynamics (CFD), gas turbine, dry low NOx combustor, combustion, natural gas quality
The fluctuating quality of natural gas (NG) in Peninsular Malaysia (PM) makes it challenging for the gas turbine (GT) combustor to meet the combustion performance requirements from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Moreover, the gas quality sensitivity is more apparent in modern dry low NOx (DLN) combustors. Many of the prior combustion investigations were conducted on a modest scale in the laboratory. In actuality, combustion characterizations in complicated DLN combustors are more valuable to the power generation sector. Hence, the current numerical analysis utilized the RANS formulation and a detailed chemistry to examine the impact of ethane (C2H6), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2) proportions in NG on combustion characteristics in a multi-nozzle DLN (MN-DLN) combustor, with the support of Modified Wobbe Index (MWI) calculations. Validations were performed using the combustor outlet temperature (COT) from the power plant where the actual MN-DLN combustor is operated, which revealed less than 10 % discrepancy. Qualitative validations were carried out by comparing the burn trace from the actual combustor wall to the predicted results, revealing an adequate Structural Similarity Index (SSIM) of 0.43. From numerical results of flame fronts and COTs, the addition of 20 % diluents (CO2 and N2) to NG demonstrated the blowoff risk. When MWIs of Kerteh and the JDA (major NG resources) were used as baselines, MWI ranges of all NG compositions under study surpassed the OEM’s ± 5 % limit. The increase in CO2 proportion results in a wide MWI range, especially when Kerteh is used as the baseline. Therefore, any GTs in PM that have previously been calibrated to use Kerteh's NG are more likely to have combustion instabilities if CO2 levels in NG suddenly increase. The higher MWI range backs up the current numerical results that showed the deleterious effects of a high CO2 composition throughout the combustor firing process. However, increasing the amount of C2H6 by up to 20 % is predicted to have minor effects on combustion characteristics. Overall, the validated numerical model of the MN-DLN combustor provided critical information about combustion characteristics and multifuel capabilities in respect to the NG quality in PM.
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