Due to increasing environmental concerns, clean technology has become a key feature in industrial gas turbines. Swirler design is directly associated with the combustion performance for its roles in fuel distribution and flame stability. In this study, the development process of three new conceptual swirlers from Samsung Techwin is presented. Each swirler has unique features to enhance fuel-to-air mixing; Swirler 1 uses tangential air-bypass, Swirler 2 minimizes pressure loss using impeller-like design, and Swirler 3 has combined flow characteristics of axial and radial swirlers. Using extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, lead time and cost in manufacturing the prototypes were significantly reduced. The numerical methods were verified with a lab-scale combustion test; particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurement of cold flow, direct flame images, and OH planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) images were compared with result of large-eddy simulation (LES), and they showed good agreement. After design optimization using CFD, full-scale combustion tests were performed for all three swirlers. Flame from each swirler was visualized using a cylindrical quartz liner; direct images and OH chemiluminescence images of flames were obtained. Flame stability and blow-off limit at various air load were examined by gradually lowering the equivalence ratio. NOx and CO concentration were measured at the exhaust. All three swirlers satisfied low NOx and CO levels at the design conditions. The performance maps bounded by the NOx and CO limits and blow-off limit were obtained for all swirlers. Further efforts to maximize the combustors performance will be made.

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