The University of Southampton
Engineering and the Environment

Research project: Swirl-Stabilised Turbulent Combustion

Currently Active: 
Yes

The use of swirl-stabilised combustion is widespread, including gas turbines, burners, internal combustion engines etc. Swirl can create different flow patterns such as vortex breakdown (VB) induced recirculation, coherent structures known as precessing vortex cores (PVC) and also improve flame stability in combustion application. Although the swirl and its applications have been exploited for some time, a comprehensive understanding of the nature of swirl remains an elusive goal, especially in combustion applications where the interaction between combustion dynamics and swirling shear layers, turbulence-chemistry interactions under different swirl strengths, the effects of swirl on global flame extinction known as lean blowout (LBO) which can lead to combustion instability and the structure of the droplet vaporisation with swirl in spray combustion systems remain poorly understood.

Project Overview

Introduction of swirl has the capability to generate strong recirculation zones, which helps to improve the whole mechanism of the mixing process. Swirl can reduce the flame length by producing higher rates of entrainment and fast mixing particularly in the shear layer region, which improve flame stability, reduce emissions and as a result the burner can be minimized and has an extended life. While the flame characteristics and stabilisation mechanisms of swirl stabilised combustion systems have been fairly well investigated for conventional fuels, not much is known about the swirl stabilised combustion characteristics of future evolving fuels. Computational studies can offer useful details of the unsteady behaviour in complex configurations involving swirl. Here we perform high-fidelity large eddy simulations (LES) to understand the fundamental swirl combustion characteristics of clean alternative fuels.

Large Eddy Simulation of a confined swirl combustor
Large Eddy Simulation
Large Eddy Simulation of an unconfined swirl burner
Large Eddy Simulation
Large Eddy Simulation of an unconfined swirl burner
Large Eddy Simulation
Large Eddy Simulation of an unconfined swirl burner
Large Eddy Simulation

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