Development of a Mass-Conserving, Smooth Vorticity-Velocity Formulation for Chemically Reacting Flow Simulations

by Su Cao

Institution: Yale University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Mechanical engineering
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2120989
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10012444


Diffusion flames exist in most practical combustors, and an accurate understanding of their structure is crucial to efficiency improvement and pollution suppression. A coflow laminar diffusion flame, which has well-defined boundary conditions, is the simplest configuration in which interactions between flow field and reactions can be readily modified and studied. Knowledge obtained from coflow laminar diffusion flames is not only of fundamental importance, but it also can facilitate the study of turbulent diffusion flames in practical industrial combustors. In order to facilitate the computational investigation of laminar flames, a novel vorticityvelocity formulation of the Navier-Stokes equations — the Mass-Conserving, Smooth (MC-Smooth) vorticity-velocity formulation — is developed in this work. The governing equations of the MC-Smooth formulation include a new second-order Poisson-like elliptic velocity equation, along with the vorticity transport equation, the energy conservation equation, and Nspec species mass balance equations. The MC-Smooth formulation is compared to two pre-existing vorticity-velocity formulations by applying each formulation to confined and unconfined axisymmetric laminar diffusion flame problems For both applications, very good to excellent agreement for the simulation results of the three formulations is obtained. The MC-Smooth formulation requires the least CPU time and can overcome the limitations of the other two pre-existing vorticity-velocity formulations by ensuring mass conservation and solution smoothness over a broader range of flow conditions. In addition to these benefits, other important features of the MC-Smooth formulation include: (1) it does not require the use of a staggered grid, and (2) it does not require excessive grid refinement to ensure mass conservation. The MC-Smooth formulation is then applied to two groups of coflow laminar diffusion flames of great fundamental and practical significance. In the first application, the influences of fuel dilution, inlet velocity, and gravity on the shape and structure of methane-air coflow laminar diffusion flames are investigated. A series of nitrogen-diluted flames measured in the Structure and Liftoff in Combustion Experiment (SLICE) on board the International Space Station is assessed numerically under microgravity and normal gravity conditions with CH4 mole fraction ranging from 0.4 to 1.0, inlet fuel velocity ranging from 23 to 90 cm/s, and inlet coflow velocity ranging from 16 to 65 cm/s. Very good agreement between computation and measurement is obtained, and the major conclusions are as follows. 1. Buoyant and nonbuoyant luminous flame lengths are proportional to the mass flow rate of the fuel mixture. Computed and measured nonbuoyant flames are noticeably longer than their 1 g counterparts. The effect of fuel dilution on flame shape is negligible when the flame shape is normalized by the methane flow rate. 2. Increasing coflow velocity reduces the size of…