Combustion Technology

Combustion Technology

B&B-AGEMA has long-term experience in designing DLN combustion systems for gas turbines, from small scale jet turbines over turbofan engines up to stationary industrial and heavy-duty gas turbines. The company provides multidisciplinary services that cover the entire combustor development process:

  • Feasibility, concept and detail designs (incl. manufacturing drawings)
  • Flow and reaction Simulations including Cooling concepts
    • 0D / 1D Network & Chemical Reactor Modelling
    • 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) based on RANS and LES (see Combustion Simulation)
    • Structural Integrity and failure analysis
  • Prediction/Analysis of thermoacoustic oscillations („humming“; in-house tool CSC)

In a collaborative work B&B-AGEMA has developed the MicroMix combustion technology based on a flame miniaturization approach, which allows 100% Hydrogen to be burned safely and with low NOx emissions.

Besides gas turbine combustors B&B-AGEMA is also well experienced in the development of new burners for furnace (e.g. heat treatment) or plant applications (e.g. duct burner) as well as upgrading existing systems in terms of emissions, efficiency or fuel versatility (e.g. upgrade from pure natural gas operation to arbitrary natural gas hydrogen mixtures or pure hydrogen combustion).

In addition, B&B-AGEMA is capable of designing entire high temperature tests beds (Outlet-Temperature <1700°C, Outlet-Mach-Number <0.8) for special applications such as the investigation of thermal barrier coated (TBC) specimens in high velocity jets.

Numerical analyses can be supported by experimental investigations, which can be conducted in collaboration with our partners at RWTH Aachen University. On the gas turbine combustor test rig real operating conditions can be established with an air supply pressure up to 30 bar and air inlet temperature up to 550 °C. B&B-AGEMA has developed air-cooled borescopes for visual and infrared observations inside the combustors.

Gas Turbine Combustors

The design of combustors for stationary gas turbines for power generation is one of our core competences at B&B-AGEMA. Starting with a basic combustor concept from scratch and then deriving a detailed design (CAD), optimizing a given combustor design by applying modern simulation tools (CFD, CHT and FEA) or providing support for the manufacturing process and experimental test campaigns, B&B-AGEMA services cover the entire development process. This multidisciplinary service range is complemented by technical consultancy from renown industry experts.

Process Industry Burners

Another field of expertise of B&B-AGEMA is the development of combustion systems for process industry applications is. With respect to future needs and requirements in terms of fuel type, emissions and efficiency B&B-AGEMA provided combustor-related services for the chemical, petrochemical, food, pulp, glass, cement and steel industry as well as for the pharmacy sector.

Hydrogen Combustion (MicroMix)

With regard to combustion of fuel with very high content of Hydrogen and, in particular, for pure Hydrogen, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the Institute of Steam and Gas Turbines (IDG) and B&B-AGEMA signed a long-term general agreement in 2010 for the development of a low-emission Hydrogen combustion technology for gas turbines. Within this collaborative agreement B&B-AGEMA developed together with Kawasaki the innovative "Micromix Combustor Technology" for real gas turbine applications. The technology is derived from fundamental research on the Micromix Flames performed at the University of Applied Sciences Aachen. B&B-AGEMA transferred the atmospheric low-energy Micromix flame results obtained at the University of Applied Sciences Aachen by application of modern combustion simulation techniques to the high pressure and high energy conditions in a gas turbine.

Based on the collaborative work of the partners within this long-term development, successful operation of a prototype combustor for a 2 MW gas turbine at 100% load conditions as well as for engine start-up conditions has been accomplished at test facilities in Akashi, Japan, and Aachen, Germany. The high-pressure combustor test facility established by the IDG is unique in its design and essential for the testing of combustors under real (1:1) gas turbine conditions. Finally the world-wide first 100% Hydrogen-fueled gas turbine with the developed MMX combustor is in successful operation in Kobe, Japan, since July 2020. Kawasaki’s “Hydrogen Road”

For further information on combustor design for “Micro Mix Combustion” technology, we like to refer to the webinar with Siemens PLM about Predicting performance and improving combustor design: how B&B-AGEMA uses simulation for digital testing (this video is directly available after registration). Additional material can be found in our list of publications.

Special Applications

Our engineers have a pronounced affection to scientific and technological challenges. For our special burner applications, we extend the typical design methods and lay special focus on the experimental testing and simulation validation.

With our broad experience in combustor design, B&B-AGEMA supported the design, manufacturing, numerical as well as experimental analysis of a temperature test bench for high temperature material testing. The test rig is designed with a combustion chamber for generating extensive exhaust gas temperatures (up to 1700°C) and Mach numbers (up to 0.8). In the resulting exhaust gas jet, material samples of turbomachinery components can be tested under realistic ambient conditions. Apart from the thermal stress also tensile loads can be applied by a loading unit, and the effect of erosion and corrosion can be tested by salt water injection directly in the combustion chamber.

This special application combustor was designed from scratch and entered successfully into service in 2021.

With its competences from design towards experimental testing and commissioning, B&B-AGEMA is an ideal partner to realize your invention.