In the case of turbine combustors operating with liquid fuel the combustion process is governed by the liquid fuel atomization and its dispersion in the combustion chamber. By highly unsteady flow field conditions the transient interaction between the liquid and the gaseous phase is of interest, because it results in a temporal variation of air–fuel ratio which leads to a fluctuating temperature distribution. The objective of this research was the investigation of transient flow field phenomena (e.g. large coherent structures) on droplet dynamics and dispersion of an isothermal flow (of inert water droplets) as a necessary first step towards a full analysis of spray combustion in real-life devices. The advanced injector system for lean jet engine combustors PERM (Partial Evaporated Rapid Mixing) was applied, generating a dilute polydispersed spray in a swirled flow field. Experiments were performed using Phase Doppler Anemometry (PDA) and a patternator to determine the droplet polydispersity, concentration maps, and velocity profiles in the flow. An important finding is the effect of large-scale coherent structures due mainly to the precessing of the vortex core (PVC) of the swirling air jet on the particle dispersion patterns. The experimental results then serve as reference data to assess the accuracy of the Eulerian–Lagrangian computations using a Large Eddy Simulation (LES), a Unsteady Reynolds-Average Navier–Stokes Simulation (URANS) and two simplified (steady-state) simulations. There, a simplified droplet injection model was used and the required boundary conditions of injected droplet sizes were obtained from measurements. Important transient effects of deterministic droplet separation observed during experiments, could be perfectly replicated with this injection model. It is convincingly shown, through extensive computations, that the resolution of instantaneous vortical structures is indeed crucial; hence the LES, or a reasonably-well resolved URANS are preferred over the steady-state solutions with additional, stochastic-type, turbulent dispersion models.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.