A new gas turbine engine using a unique layout patented in Norway has a low emission combustion system under development. The gas generator uses entirely radial rotating components and employs a dual entry LP radial compressor, a radial HP compressor and a radial HP turbine. The power turbine is of a two stage axial design, coupled to an epicyclical gear embedded in the exhaust duct.

Several combustor concepts have been tested and evaluated during the development of the engine. The engine is targeted for marine, power generation and train propulsion. For the marine and train application liquid fuel operation is needed, thus the primary focus in the development has been for a lean premixed prevapourised system.

An interesting concept utilising two venturi premixers has been studied intensively. By utilising venturi premixers the following advantages can be achieved:

• Low overall pressure drop but high injector pressure drop and velocities in the mixing region (throat region)

• High shear forces and drag imposed on the droplets enhancing droplet shedding and evaporation

• Excellent emission behaviour at designated load conditions

Although these advantages can benefit gas turbine low emission combustion the challenges in using venturi premixers are:

• Venturis are susceptible to separation and thus flame stabilisation within the venturi which is detrimental

• Inlet flow disturbances enhance the tendency for separation in the venturis and must be minimised

Studies were launched to investigate a proposed combustor configuration. These studies included analytical studies, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) calculations of isothermal and combusting flow inside the combustor together with rig tests at atmospheric, medium and full pressure. Finally engine tests within the full operating range were conducted with very favourable emission figures for Lean Premixed Prevapourised (LPP) operation. The system was capable of running at below 20 ppm Nox and CO, at elevated power for liquid fuel. Control of part load performance and emissions is by variable fuel staging of the two venturi stages. The paper highlights the features of the venturi combustor development and discusses the characteristics in terms of flow conditions and droplet motion, heat transfer, ignition delay time and emissions.

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