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Research Papers: Fuel Combustion

Effects of Electric Fields on Stabilized Lifted Propane Flames

[+] Author and Article Information
Andrew R. Hutchins, William A. Reach, James D. Kribs, Kevin M. Lyons

Department of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering,
North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 27695

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received January 1, 2014; final manuscript received April 1, 2014; published online April 28, 2014. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 136(2), 022203 (Apr 28, 2014) (10 pages) Paper No: JERT-14-1001; doi: 10.1115/1.4027407 History: Received January 01, 2014; Revised April 01, 2014

The effects that various charged electrodes, and associated electric fields, have on lifted propane flames have been investigated. Two electrodes were used to provide an electric field with potentials ranging from 0 to 11,000 V. The primary electrode was around the flame and the secondary electrode was the fuel nozzle. Electrode polarity and primary electrode location with various flame field locations (near, mid, far) were varied, resulting in a variety of flame behavior. Results show that the body force resultant from the bulk flow of formed ions, from a positively charged fuel nozzle, and grounded ring electrode, will increase flame liftoff height and, eventually, cause blowout. However, for the opposite polarity (positively charged ring electrode and grounded fuel nozzle), the flame progresses toward reattachment with increasing potentials. Observing the narrow window of flame blowout or reattachment (varying with polarity), it was observed that the lifted flame height fluctuations were increased with the presence of the grounded ring electrode, but reduced when the polarity was shifted to positive configuration (positively charged primary electrode). Flame hysteresis was observed when the ring electrode was positively charged and it was found that the hysteresis regime increased when the potential of the ring electrode was increased to 1500 V but had little changes at lower potentials. While the ring electrode was positively charged, a distinct hole was observed in the center of the flame. Several images are presented that show these flame holes that are present when the electrodes are charged.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) Complete experimental apparatus. (b) Top view of the primary electrode used in all configurations. (c) Zoomed-in on flame location with varying locations of the primary electrode. Positive configuration is when the ring electrode is positively charged and the fuel nozzle is grounded. Grounded configuration is vice versa.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Propane flame liftoff heights under the presence of a charged electrode in grounded configuration with varying fuel jet velocities and primary electrode locations

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Propane flame liftoff heights under the presence of a charged electrode in positive configuration with varying fuel jet velocities and primary electrode locations

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Grounded configuration regions of discontinuity for various flame fields: (a) near-field, (b) midfield, and (c) far-field

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Positive configuration regions of discontinuity for various flame fields: (a) near-field, (b) midfield, and (c) far-field

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Hysteresis regime for the positive configuration with potentials of (a) 0 V, (b) 500 V, (c) 1000 V, and (d) 1500 V

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Hysteresis regime when positive configuration potential is applied only during reattachment. During initial liftoff and until maximum jet velocity is reached (13.15 m/s) no potential is applied. After initial images are taken with no potential is applied at the maximum jet velocity, the field is turned on and the jet velocity is decreased incrementally until reattachment to the fuel nozzle is attained.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Body force on flame from the motion of the formed ions. The motion of the formed ions moves away from the secondary electrode and toward the primary electrode. Thus, this could assist in explaining why the flame blows out in the grounded configuration but is opposite in direction to the flame progression in the positive configuration.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Normalized liftoff heights for the grounded configuration

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Normalized liftoff heights for the positive configuration

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Fig. 11

Various images of flame discontinuity with the application of different potentials. (a) Jet velocity is 11.55 m/s and the potential applied (with positive secondary electrode or negative configuration), is 1500 V. (b) Jet velocity is 9.62 m/s and the potential applied (with positive secondary electrode or negative configuration), is 500 V. (c) Jet velocity is 10.26 m/s and the potential applied (with positive secondary electrode, or negative configuration) is 1500 V.

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