The CFD Design and Optimisation of a 100 kW Hydrogen Fuelled mGT

Cedric Devriese, G.F.M. Penninx, G.C. de Ruiter, Rob J.M. Bastiaans, Ward De Paepe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Against the background of a growing deployment of renewable electricity production, like wind and solar, the demand for energy storage will only increase. One of the most promising ways to cover the medium to long-term storage is to use the excess electricity to produce hydrogen via electrolysis. In a modern energy grid, filled with intermittent power sources and ever-increasing problems to construct large power plants in densely populated areas, a network of Decentralised Energy Systems (DES) seems more logical. Therefore, the importance of research into the design of a small to medium-sized hydrogen fuelled micro Gas Turbine (mGT) unit for efficient, local heat and electricity production becomes apparent. To be able to compete with Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICEs), the mGT needs to reach 40 % electrical efficiency. To do so, there are two main challenges; the design of an ultra-low NOX hydrogen combustor and a high Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT) radial turbine. In this paper, we report on the progress of our work towards that goal. First, an improvement of the initial single-nozzle swirler (swozzle) combustor geometry was abandoned in favour of a full CFD (steady RANS) design and optimisation of a micromix type combustion chamber, due to its advantages towards NOx-emission reduction. Second, a full CFD design and optimisation of the compressor and turbine is performed. The improved micromix combustor geometry resulted in a NOx level reduction of more than 1 order of magnitude compared to our previous swozzle design (from 1400 ppm to 250 ppm). Moreover, several design parameters, such as the position and diameter of the hydrogen injection nozzle and the Air Guiding Panel (AGP) height, have been optimized to improve the flow patterns. Next to the combustion chamber, CFD simulations of the compressor and turbine matched the 1D performance calculations and reached the desired performance goals. A CFD analysis of the impact of the tip gap and exhaust diffuser cone angle led to a choice of these parameters that improved the compressor and turbine performance with a limited loss in efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2020
Subtitle of host publicationTurbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition GT2020, September 21-25, 2020, Virtual, Online
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7918-8419-5
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2021
EventASME Turbo Expo 2020: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition - Virtual, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Sep 202025 Sep 2020


ConferenceASME Turbo Expo 2020
Abbreviated titleGT 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
OtherThe ASME 2020 Turbo Expo Conference (TE20) presented by IGTI was scheduled to take place in London, United Kingdom June 22 – 26, 2020. However, the current global situation related to COVID-19 prevents the face-to-face event from taking place.
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