In the design of next-generation civil aviation gas turbine combustors, there is high demand to improve the efficiency of combustion technology to decrease the amount of fuel consumed and to reduce the emissions in an effort to lessen the environmental impacts. This paper introduces a novel, ultra-low emissions combustor, namely Low Emission Stirred Swirl (LESS) combustor, employing the lean premixed prevaporized (LPP) approach. The LESS combustor is a single annular layout. Its dome is comprised of two stages — the pilot stage and the main stage. The pilot stage is a typical swirl cup design which uses a pressure swirl atomizer with dual counter-rotating radial swirlers to atomize the fuel and form a diffusion flame, and is located in the centerline of the combustion chamber. The main stage surrounding coaxially the pilot stage includes one annulus as premixer and 14 plain orifice atomizers with 14 small dual counter-rotating radial swirlers arranged uniformly on the dome of the annulus, which lead to the main premixed flame. Five different igniter locations are chosen according to the CFX-simulated non-reacting flow field of a simplified mainstage combustor. Only the pilot pressure swirl atomizer is operated in the present ignition performance tests. The model combustor is a single module rectangular combustor with normal inlet temperature and normal inlet pressure. Under the test conditions of air pressure drop of 0.5%–9%, the ignition performance of the model LESS combustor is analyzed. The lean lightoff fuel/air ratio (LLO FAR), characterizing the ignition performance of a combustor, is investigated herein. In addition, the effects of igniter locations and pilot fuel nozzles on LLO FAR are studied. Specific to the LESS combustor, the igniter location has minor effect on the LLO FAR values. However, as expected, the combustor dome pressure drop and attendant reference velocity along with spray SMD impact LLO FAR. Furthermore, CFX-simulated results of the flow field, spray characteristics, and gas-liquid interactions under the typical condition of combustor operation are presented and discussed to provide insight into the ignition processes and performance.

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