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Modeling and Simulation of Turbulent Non-Reacting and Reacting Spray Flows

Hu, Yong

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Due to the growing concern on the issues of global warming, climate change, and energy shortage, more rigorous requirements are imposed on the energy conversion process of combustion. Due to the relative safety and convenience in transportation and storage, liquid fuels are commonly used in many practical combustion systems such as diesel engines, gas turbines and industrial furnaces. In these combustion devices, turbulent spray flows are involved. The character of spray dispersion, evaporation, mixing and combustion of fuel droplets strongly determines the performance of these systems with respect to the combustion efficiency, stability, and emissions. Therefore, an improved understanding of turbulent spray combustion and the development of predictive models are needed for a better design of more efficient combustion systems.

The present work focuses on the development of a computational methodology based on the transported joint probability density function (PDF) method for the modeling and simulation of two-phase turbulent spray flows without and with chemical reactions. In the non-reacting situation, the dependent variables of the joint PDF include the gas velocity and the mixture fraction. For the simulation of reacting spray flows, a three-variate joint PDF transport equation is derived and modeled in order to account for the pre-vaporization effects and partially premixed regime in turbulent spray flames. The dependent variables include the gas phase mixture fraction, the reaction progress variable and gas enthalpy. Detailed combustion chemistry is considered through an extended spray flamelet model by including a reaction progress variable in addition to the classical formulation.

The dilute spray is simulated using a Lagrangian discrete parcel method for the description of droplet motion, heating and evaporation. The infinite conductivity model with consideration of non-equilibrium effects based on the Langmuir-Knudsen law is considered. The spray evolution and flame structures in the frame of the polydisperse reacting spray flows are investigated. Numerical results are compared with experimental data provided by Prof. Masri at the University of Sydney, Australia, and the test cases include three different turbulent non-reacting acetone spray flows in air and turbulent spray flames with the liquid fuel ethanol.

For the acetone spray flows, computational results generally show good agreement with experimental data in terms of the droplet size and mean velocity distribution, as well as the liquid volume flux. The results show that the inflow liquid mass loading hardly affects the droplet diameter distribution, whereas the inlet turbulence level has a pronounced effect. The tendency of droplet accumulation near the jet centerline is found with a somewhat overprediction of liquid volume flux at downstream locations. A more sophisticated turbulence model is expected to eliminate this discrepancy. Moreover, the local joint PDF of the gas velocity and the mixture fraction is analyzed. A linear correlation of the gas velocity and the mixture fraction exists close to the nozzle exit outside the main spray jet, and no regions are found where statistical independence prevails.

For the simulation of spray flames, computations with the newly developed spray flamelet/progress variable approach and with the previous standard spray flamelet formulation are carried out and compared with the experiments by Prof. Masri at the University of Sydney. A good agreement between the computations with the new formulation and the experiments for gas temperature and droplet size and velocity is achieved. The major spray and combustion properties are correctly captured using this new formulation, which is compared with an unphysically attached flame near the nozzle exit predicted by the previous model.

A partially premixed combustion prevails in this piloted turbulent spray flame. Due to the prevaporization of the ethanol droplets near the nozzle exit, a lean premixed gas mixture is found at the inner side of spray jet. Moving downstream, the lean-sided diffusion flame is promoted towards the inner fuel-rich side by heating up the inner premixed core that is controlled by the droplet evaporation. Additionally, it is observed that in the far-field region, the diffusion flame becomes the dominant combustion mode.

In summary, an efficient computational model based on the transported joint PDF method is developed to two-phase turbulent spray flows. The combined transported joint PDF and a newly proposed spray flamelet/progress variable approach shows an improved performance in the prediction of complex turbulent spray flames, and new insights on the local flame structure influenced by evaporating sprays are obtained.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Gutheil, Prof. Dr. Eva
Date of thesis defense: 4 December 2015
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2015 12:30
Date: 2015
Faculties / Institutes: Fakultät für Chemie und Geowissenschaften > Institute of Physical Chemistry
Subjects: 540 Chemistry and allied sciences
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