CFD & AMP Center
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
West Virginia University

Rotating detonation combustion for power generation

Simulation and Model Validation for Innovative Energy Concepts (S&V-IEC) Pressure gain combustion - Rotating detonation combustion for power generation
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
Dr. Ismail B. Celik
Jose Escobar
Sergio Escobar

Executive Summary

Rotating detonation combustion (RDC) consists of a combustion regime under which a detonation wave propagates continuously in the azimuthal direction of a cylindrical chamber. Reactants are supplied in the axial direction at the inlet plenum of the chamber from a premixture reservoir or from separate injection streams. Detonation products expand behind the detonation wave in the azimuthal and axial direction exiting through the combustion chamber outlet.

RDC has gained increased interest during the last two decades as an alternative to increase thermodynamic efficiency for power generation cycles. Although initial explorations focused on the viability of its application for propulsive purposes, recent research work shows interest of incorporating this combustion regime for gas turbine applications.

This research task focuses on the characterization of rotating detonation combustion under operating conditions relevant to gas turbine applications. An adequate numerical simulation strategy for RDC is determined. The capability of accurately predict the flow field developed by rotating detonation combustion is evaluated using experimental data.Appropriate configurations for continuous detonation combustion at operating conditions relevant to gas turbine applications are determined. Adequate configurations are identified through a parametric study performed using the modeling strategy selected. Limiting conditions for continuous detonation are predicted. Flow structures and thermodynamic efficiency variations is assessed for various configurations.

Rotating detonation combustion initiation procedure

3D temperature field for single step (left) and reduced reaction mechanism (right)

2D Temperature contour for Hydrogen-Air RDC

Contour of the magnitude of the density gradient for 2D RDC simulation

Mach number contour for 2D RDC simulations