Development of the DLN Micro-mix Hydrogen Combustion Technology with STAR-CCM+®

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Combined with the use of renewable energy sources for its production, hydrogen represents a possible alternative gas turbine fuel for future low emission power generation. Due its different physical properties compared to other fuels such as natural gas, well established gas turbine combustion systems cannot be directly applied for Dry Low NOx (DLN) hydrogen combustion. This makes the development of new combustion technologies an essential and challenging task for the future of hydrogen fuelled gas turbines.

The DLN micro-mix combustion technology has been successfully developed to address this challenge. Thereby, a systematic design exploration has been applied by using STAR-CCM+ and is based on understanding complex physical interactions between aerodynamics, combustion, emission formation and heat transfer. The identification of optimal combustor design parameters was made possible by performing a series of multi-physics simulations in STAR-CCM+ considering variations of burner design parameters. This numerical approach helped reducing development time and cost significantly, since experimental testing was reduced to validation campaigns, which have confirmed lowest NOx emissions and highest combustion stability of the pure hydrogen micro-mix combustor under real APU gas turbine conditions, providing a mature key technology for the use of hydrogen within the future low emission power generation.

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Anis Haj Ayed