Reliable ignition is critical for improving the operating performance of modern combustor and gas turbines. As an alternative to the traditional spark discharge ignition, plasma assisted ignition has attracted more interest and been shown to be more effective in increasing ignition probability, accelerating kernel growth, and decreasing ignition delay time. In this paper, the operating characteristic of a typical self-designed plasma ignition system is investigated. Based on the optical experiment, the plasma jet flow feature during discharge is analyzed. Then, a detailed numerical study is carried out to investigate the effects of different plasma parameters on ignition enhancement of a one can-annular combustor used in gas turbines. The results show that plasma indeed has a good ability to expand the ignition limit and decrease the minimum ignition energy. For the studied plasma ignitor, the initial discharge kernel is not a sphere but a jet flow cone with a length of about 30 mm. Besides, the numerical comparisons indicate that the additions of plasma active species and the increases of initial energy, plasma jet flow length and discharge frequency can benefit the acceleration of kernel growth and flame propagation via thermal, kinetic and transport pathways. The present study may provide a suitable understanding of plasma assisted ignition in gas turbines and a meaningful reference to develop high performance ignition systems.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited