This paper describes the development of an empirical approach that attempts to predict blow-out of bluff body stabilized flames using global flow parameters in systems where liquid fuel injectors are located a short distance upstream of the wake. This approach was created on the hypothesis that flame stability in such a combustion system (referred to as a close-coupled injection) is determined by the strength of the heat source developed in the bluff body recirculation zone and by the availability of sufficient contact time with fresh mixture for its ignition, similar in nature to premixed combustion systems. Based on this concept, global equivalence ratio on the classical DeZubay stability map was replaced by local equivalence ratio in the recirculation zone of the bluff body. This local equivalence ratio was determined experimentally using a chemiluminescence measurement system. Tests were conducted using a single bluff body with a close coupled injection system in a 76×152mm (3×6 inches) combustion tunnel. A wide range of fuel-air ratios and velocities were achieved by variation of the global equivalence ratio, incoming flow velocity, and injector size. The obtained experimental data set was used to develop a transfer function that allowed calculation of the local equivalence ratio in the recirculation zone based on the global flow parameters. Equivalence ratio in the recirculation zone was found to be exponentially dependent upon the square root of the fuel to air momentum flux ratio such that increasing the momentum flux ratio led to a reduction in the recirculation zone equivalence ratio. Additional adjustment of this general trend by the diameter of injector and air flow velocity was necessary to improve the quality of the prediction. The developed approach demonstrated a good prediction of the globally rich blow-out of the flame. In fact, the recirculation zone lean blow-out limit (corresponding with globally rich blow-out) predicted for close coupled injection using the developed transfer function closely coincided with the lean blow-out line of the classical DeZubay envelope and with results obtained with premixed injection using the same bluff body. On the contrary, globally lean (locally rich) blow-out was predicted ∼20% below the DeZubay rich blow-out line, possibly because of the limited range of the fuel flow rates on the experimental rig used.

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