Application of Flameless Combustion for Advanced Gas Turbine Engines

Period of Performance: 08/01/2006 - 05/01/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Gra-gutmark Research Associates
5055 Rollman Estates Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45236
Principal Investigator


Combustion technology continuously evolves to meet the requirements of efficiency, emissions, and noise for its applications in land-based or aero-propulsion gas turbine engines. An emerging and promising novel combustion technology, flameless combustion, holds the potential for generating even temperature distribution and desirable pattern factor, low noise combustion free of thermoacoustic oscillations, ultra-low emissions, and reduced soot formation. The objective of this research project is to design, fabricate, and test a novel gas turbine combustor based on flameless combustion technology at atmospheric and high pressures to identify parametric conditions (compressor discharge temperature and pressure, strength of internal recirculation, and proper fuel/air mixing) required to achieve distributed combustion in flameless and near flameless mode, and to evaluate its operation and merits in terms of stability, temperature distribution, pattern factor, flame characteristics, pressure oscillations, and pollutants. In Phase I, the novel model gas turbine combustor will be designed and tested to verify the feasibility and address the challenges of application in aero-engines and formation of distributed combustion at high pressure conditions. In the Phase I proposal, the key step is the design and engineering of the flameless combustor based on development of advanced low NOx emission combustors and fuel/air mixing process control.BENEFITS: Next generation gas turbine engines are expected to be cleaner, quieter, more stable, and with multi-fuel capability. Flameless combustion gas turbine combustor proposed here will be a promising candidate for delivering multiple benefits environmentally, economically, and operationally. High efficiency of the combustion system, extended life of mechanical components, more reliable operation and maintenance cost can be expected as the outcome of the application of the flameless combustion technology. The developed combustion technology can be applied in gas turbine engines for power generation and high speed propulsion and therefore will benefit propulsion and power engine manufacturing companies, airframe integrators, and the aero and power industry.