Patent application title: METHOD AND BURNER ARRANGEMENT FOR THE PRODUCTION OF HOT GAS, AND USE OF SAID METHOD
Richard Carroni (Niederrohrdorf, CH)
Alstom Technology Ltd.
Bettina Paikert (Oberrohrdorf, CH)
ALSTOM TECHNOLOGY LTD
IPC8 Class: AF23D1402FI
Class name: Combustion mixer and flame holder
Publication date: 2013-08-29
Patent application number: 20130224672
A method for producing hot gas for operating a turbomachine fired with at
least one combustion chamber includes premixing a fuel with a plurality
of operating gases by introducing fuel into the plurality of operating
gases in a mixing chamber disposed upstream of the combustion chamber
using a burner arrangement, wherein the fuel includes at least one of a
combustible gas and a H2-rich fuel; and introducing the premixed
fuel into the combustion chamber.
1. A burner arrangement disposed upstream of a combustion chamber
comprising: a mixing chamber configured to premix a fuel with a plurality
of operating gases; and a swirler having at least two hollow partial
conical shells nested one inside the other in a flow direction and
complementing one another to form a body with an interior space, wherein
a cross section of the interior space increases in the flow direction,
wherein the at least two conical shells each have a wall and each have a
longitudinal axis of symmetry, wherein the longitudinal axes of symmetry
of the hollow shells run offset with respect to one another such that the
walls of each shell are adjacent to each other and form a tangential air
inlet slot extending longitudinally for an inflow of the air into the
2. The burner arrangement as recited in claim 1, further comprising a mixing tube and a transition region disposed between the swirler and the mixing tube, the transition region containing transition passages for a transfer of a flow formed in the swirler and into a throughflow cross section of the mixer tube connected downstream of the transfer passages.
3. The burner arrangement as recited in claim 2, wherein a number of the transfer passages corresponds to a number of the at least two shells.
4. A burner arrangement disposed upstream of a combustion chamber comprising: a mixing chamber configured to premix a fuel with a plurality of operating gases; and a swirler having at least two hollow partial shells nested one inside the other in a direction of flow and complementing one another to form a body with an interior space, wherein a cross section of the interior space is substantially cylindrical in a flow direction, and wherein the at least two hollow shells each have a wall and each have a longitudinal axis of symmetry, wherein the longitudinal axes of symmetry of the hollow shells run offset with respect to one another such that the walls of each shell are adjacent to each other and form a tangential air inlet slot extending longitudinally for an inflow of the air into the interior space, wherein the interior space includes an internal body having a decreasing cross section in the flow direction.
5. The burner arrangement as recited in claim 4, wherein a size of the inner body decreases conically in the direction of flow.
6. The burner arrangement as recited in claim 4, further comprising a mixing tube and a transition region disposed between the swirler and the mixing tube, the transition region containing transition passages for a transfer of a flow formed in the swirler and into a throughflow cross section of the mixer tube connected downstream of the transfer passages.
7. The burner arrangement as recited in claim 6, wherein a number of the transfer passages corresponds to a number of the at least two shells.
CROSS REFERENCE TO PRIOR APPLICATIONS
 This application is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/876,508, filed Sep. 7, 2010, which is a continuation of International Patent Application No. PCT/EP2009/051764, filed Feb. 16, 2009, which claims priority to Swiss Patent Application No. CH 00350/08, filed Mar. 7, 2008. The entire disclosure of both applications is incorporated by reference herein.
 The present invention relates to the field of combustion technology. It refers to a method for combusting H2-rich fuels. It also refers to a burner arrangement for implementing the method and for its use.
 From WO-A1-2006/069861, a premix burner with subsequent mixing section or mixer tube (a so-called AEV burner) has been known, in which in the premix burner, which is formed according to EP-A1-704 657, a first fuel can be centrally injected and between the air inlet slots or passages which are formed by the shells in the swirler (shown clearly especially in EP-A1 321 809) at least one second fuel can be introduced into the air which flows into the inner space there. In the subsequent mixer tube, provision is made for a further device for injecting a third fuel. All printed publications which are referred to here or later, and their further developments, form an integrating element of this application.
 For combusting H2-rich fuels, as created for example in the form of syngas during coal gasification, it has already been proposed to inject at least some of the H2-rich fuel via the mixer tube of such a premix burner. Also, such a premix burner has already been tested with natural gas in lean premix operation, during which under high pressure H2-rich fuels with H2-to-N2 ratios of 70/30 and 60/40 have been injected in an axially staged manner in the premix burner and in the mixer tube.
 During these tests, it has been shown that if a changeover is made from natural gas entirely to the H2-rich fuel, the flame migrates upstream into the mixer tube. Although the burner was able to be operated in this way without damage and with sufficiently low NOx emission, numerous disadvantages arose, however, specifically:
 The pressure losses in the premix burner are increased by the factor of 3. This is undesirable in the case of gas turbines with regard to an associated gas turbine cycle.
 The available mixing length, i.e. the distance between the location of the injection of the fuel and the flame front, is reduced, which leads to increased NOx-emission.
 High-frequency pulsations gain in importance. In this context, it may be mentioned that the thermoacoustic vibrations represent a hazard for each type of combustion application. They lead to high-amplitude pressure vibrations, to limitation of the operating range, and they can increase pollutant emissions. This applies especially to combustion systems with low acoustic damping, as is the case for example in annular combustion chambers with reverberant walls. In order to ensure a high performance conversion over a wide operating range with regard to pulsations and pollutant emissions, provisions against these pulsations must be made.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 In an aspect of the invention, a method for combusting H2-rich fuels is provided which reliably prevents migrating of the flame back into the burner and also pulsations, even during a changeover from natural gas to H2-rich fuels.
 In an embodiment of the invention, in addition to the H2-rich fuel, a small amount of natural gas is introduced into the burner arrangement during premix operation and combusted together with the H2-rich fuel.
 One development of the method according to the invention is characterized in that first of all an air/fuel mixture is created from the air and the natural gas, and in that the H2-rich fuel is then injected into the air/fuel mixture. In particular, a burner arrangement, which comprises a premix burner and a mixer tube which is connected to it, is used for this purpose, wherein the fuel/air mixture is created in the premix burner. The H2-rich fuel can be injected into the mixer tube and/or into the swirler. A swirler can be advantageously used as the head stage of the premix burner, as is described for example in EP-A1-321 809.
 Another development of the method according to the invention is characterized in that first of all the natural gas and the H2-rich fuel are intermixed, and in that the resulting fuel mixture is mixed and combusted with air in the burner arrangement. As a result of this, the system of fuel feed and fuel distribution can especially be simplified. Also in this case, a burner arrangement can preferably be used which comprises a premix burner and a mixer tube which is connected to it, wherein in the premix burner the air/fuel mixture is created from the air and the fuel mixture.
 A burner arrangement can also be used, however, as is disclosed for example in WO-A1-2007/113074, in which within the scope of a sequential combustion a fuel lance projects into a hot gas flow, and wherein the fuel mixture is injected via the fuel lance, if necessary with additional air, into the hot gas flow. The fuel lances which are shown in this printed publication (FIGS. 2-6) are designed for use in the low-pressure combustion chamber (Pos. 14). Also, this last-named printed publication forms an integrating element of this application. The operation of such a low-pressure combustion chamber with the use of a fuel lance which is described above in a sequentially fired gas turbine, results for example from EP 620 362 A1, which printed publication also represents an integrating element of this description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The invention shall subsequently be explained in more detail based on exemplary embodiments in conjunction with the drawing. All elements which are not necessary for the direct understanding of the invention have been omitted. Like elements are provided with the same designations in the various figures. The flow direction of the media is indicated by arrows.
 In the drawings:
 FIG. 1 shows a simplified schematized view of a burner arrangement of the AEV type, in which according to one exemplary embodiment of the method according to the invention the additional natural gas and the H2-rich fuel are injected one after the other in the flow direction, wherein the H2-rich fuel can also be selectively injected into the swirler;
 FIG. 2 shows a view which is comparable to FIG. 1 of a burner arrangement of the AEV type, in which according to another exemplary embodiment of the method according to the invention the additional natural gas and the H2-rich fuel are first of all mixed and the resulting mixture is then injected;
 FIG. 3 shows a simplified schematized view of a burner arrangement with a fuel lance, which is provided for sequential combustion, in which according to another exemplary embodiment of the method according to the invention the additional natural gas and the H2-rich fuel are first of all mixed and the resulting mixture is then injected into a hot gas flow; and
 FIG. 4 shows use of the fuel lance according to FIG. 3 in a combustion chamber of a gas turbine with sequential combustion.
 Reproduced in FIG. 1, in a simplified schematized view, is a burner arrangement with a head stage, which is formed as a swirler, and an adjoining mixer tube, in which according to one exemplary embodiment of the method according to the invention the additional natural gas and the H2-rich fuel are injected one after the other in the flow direction. The burner arrangement 10 comprises a swirler 11, which at times can also be used as a stand-alone premix burner, wherein this is formed in a known manner per se in the shape of a cone, as is described for example in EP-A1-321 809. In this case, it is important that the swirl intensity in the swirler is selected via its geometry so that the bursting of the vortex, or vortices, does not take place in the mixer tube but further downstream at the combustion chamber inlet, wherein the length of the mixer tube 13 is to be dimensioned so that a satisfactory mixture quality is established for all fuels which are in use. If such a swirler is taken as a basis, then the swirl intensity results from the design of the corresponding cone angle, of the air inlet slots or passages, and their number. Combustion air flows into the interior of the premix burner 11 through said air inlet slots or passages, wherein in the region of these air inlet slots or passages provision is made for means for injecting a fuel in such a way that an air/fuel mixture 12 is formed in the inner space which is formed by the partial cone shells. The air/fuel mixture 12 is given a swirl around the axis 15 of the burner arrangement 10 and enters a mixer tube 13 downstream, where the complete mixing-through of air and fuel takes place. The mixer tube 13 opens into a combustion chamber 14 in which a flame front is formed, with which the air/fuel mixture is combusted. On the mixer tube 13, provision is made for an injection device 16 of preferably annular design, through which fuel can be additionally injected into the mixer tube 13 and incorporated into the combustion. When required, transfer passages, which are not shown in more detail in this figure, are provided in a transition region between swirler 11 and mixer tube 13 and undertake the transfer of air or air/fuel flow, which is formed in the swirler 11, into the mixer tube 13. Such a configuration results from EP-A1-704 657, wherein its disclosure content forms an integrating element of this application. Furthermore, the swirler can be designed so that this comprises at least two hollow partial shells which are nested one inside the other in the flow direction, making up a body, the cross section of which in the flow direction, in contrast to the swirler 11 above, does not extend conically but cylindrically or virtually cylindrically, wherein in the inner space, preferably on the symmetry axis of the body, an inner body is provided, the cross section of which in the flow direction reduces conically or virtually conically. Such a configuration has been known for example from EP-A1-777 081, wherein this printed publication also forms an integrating element of this application.
 According to the exemplary embodiment which is shown in FIG. 1, a small quantity of natural gas F1 is injected into the premix burner 11 during premix operation and mixed with air. The natural gas F1 is fed via a first fuel feed line 17 and can be adjusted to the required mass flow for example by means of a valve 19. The main part of the output of the burner arrangement 10 is contested, however, by an H2-rich fuel F2 which is directed to the injection device 16 via a second fuel feed line 18 and injected there into the air/fuel mixture 12 from the swirler 11 acting upstream. A portion of this H2-rich fuel 18' can also be selectively injected into the swirler 11, as results from FIG. 1, wherein its portion typically constitutes up to 30%. This type of burner operation has the following advantages:
 The pressure loss coefficient Zeta is reduced from 2.8 to 1.5, which corresponds to a sharp reduction of the pressure loss in the burner.
 The high-frequency pulsations (of 2 to 4 kHz) are practically eliminated.
 NOx-emissions are minimized, this based on the fact that the flame is maintained by a maximized premixed air/fuel mixture.
 The fuel feed lines 17 in the region of the swirler 11 are constantly purged for the natural gas so that changing over to natural gas operation is possible within an extremely short time.
 If the flame front actually migrates upstream into the burner, it is anchored relatively far downstream in the mixer tube and burns in a stable and reliable manner. If in a multi-burner arrangement, as is customary in gas turbines, a flashback occurs in a burner, this leads more easily to a stable state in the burner and not to an operation-relevant negative development in which the flame front migrates still further upstream until destruction of the burner commences, as is immanently the case in normal burners. If this state occurs, then the reason to be looked for is that the burner in question is blocked and the throughflow of air is reduced. This then also means that an individual burner can be temporarily shut down and reignited. The operation of the other burners in the gas turbine is consequently not affected.
 The reason that the flame front in this case cannot flash back to the premixed burner 11 which is used according to the invention, and destruction cannot correspondingly occur, is to be seen as that of the very same flame front assuming a fixed local anchoring inside the mixer tube 13 in such a way that it also cannot creep upstream either, the air flow hardly being impaired in the process.
 Whereas in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 the natural gas F1 and the H2-rich fuel F2 are injected separately and in axial staging in the burner arrangement 10, it is also conceivable to premix the two fuels before injection according to FIG. 2. For this purpose, the two fuel feed lines 17 and 18 for the fuels F1 and F2 are brought together and the resulting fuel mixture is then injected on the one hand into the swirler 11 and on the other hand into the injection device 16 on the mixer tube 13.
 Stabilizing the flame position and limiting NOx-emissions which is associated therewith, and avoiding pulsations by means of a small addition of natural gas, can also be applied in a gas turbine with sequential combustion, specifically in the second or subsequent combustion stage. In FIG. 3, a fuel lance 20 is reproduced, as is disclosed in WO-A1-2007/113074 which is referred to in the introduction, wherein this printed publication also forms an integrating element of this application. The fuel lance 20 projects into the hot gas flow 26 from a previous combustion stage which can comprise for example the burner arrangement which is shown in FIG. 1. In the fuel lance 20, an outer tube 21 and an inner tube 22 are arranged one inside the other. The outer tube has injection orifices 23. Air 25 is fed into the gap between inner tube 22 and outer tube 21, while through the inner tube 22 a mixture consisting of the H2-rich fuel F2 and the small portion of natural gas F1 is introduced. The air/fuel mixture which is formed discharges into the hot gas flow 26 and ignites there, forming a flame.
 FIG. 4 shows in schematic view a low-pressure combustion chamber 27 in a gas turbine which is operated by means of sequential combustion. Such a gas turbine results for example from an article by Joos, F. et al., "Field Experience of the Sequential Combustion System for the ABB GT24/GT26 Gas Turbine Family", IGTI/ASME 98-GT-220, 1998 Stockholm, wherein FIG. 1 shows the construction of such a gas turbine. Furthermore, reference is made to a publication in ABB Review February 1997 (pages 4-14), especially to FIG. 15 (page 13), in which the main components of such a gas turbine are also shown. The low-pressure combustion chamber is referred to here as a "SEV combustor". The operation of this low-pressure combustion chamber 27 is designed for self-ignition, i.e. the hot gas flow 26 which flows into the combustion chamber 27 has a very high operating temperature in such a way that combustion of the fuels F1 or F1+F2 or F2, which are injected via at least one fuel lance 20, is carried out by means of self-ignition. With this type of combustion, it is important that the flame front in the combustion chamber 14 which is arranged downstream remains stable as regards location. Also, for achieving this aim, provision is made in this self-ignition combustion chamber 27, preferably arranged on the inner or outer wall in the circumferential direction, for a row of elements 28, so-called vortex generators, which are positioned in the axial direction preferably upstream of the fuel lance 20 which basically comprises a vertical outer tube 21 and a horizontal outer tube 21'. The purpose of these elements 28 is to generate vortices which induce a backflow zone. The design of these vortex generators 28 and also the arrangement in the combustion chamber 27 results from DE-44 46 611 A1, wherein this printed publication also forms an integrating element of this description. With regard to the different injection possibilities 29 of the fuels F1 or F1+F2 of F2 into the combustion chamber 27, reference is made essentially to WO 2007/113074 A1. A further possibility is apparent in FIG. 4 itself, in which the symbolized fuel jets 29 flow from one or more injection orifices which are arranged on the circumference of the axial outer tube 21' of the fuel lance 20 and inject the fuel, or fuels, into the flowing 26 of the combustion chamber 27 at a specific injection angle α. This injection angle a preferably varies between 20° and 120° in relation to the surface of the horizontal outer tube section 21' of the fuel lance 20, wherein injection angles of less than 20° and more than 120° are also possible, however. A further injection of the fuels F1 or F1+F2 or F2 is provided downstream of the fuel lance 20 via the injection device 16 which also has one or more injection orifices, wherein the direction of the fuel jets 30 can assume a broad spectrum, as results from FIG. 4, the injection preferably having an angle α' of between 20° and 120° in relation to the surface of the inner wall of the combustion chamber 27, wherein injection angles of less than 20° and more than 120° are also possible. The type of operation of this combustion chamber 27 concerning the fuels which are introduced there and with regard to the injection angle of the fuel jets or of the fuel orifices 29, 30, depends upon factors which are related to the sequential combustion. Naturally, the introduction of the fuels according to FIG. 4 can also be provided in the same or similar manner in the case of the previously described combustion chambers according to FIGS. 1 and 2. An additional introduction of a quantity of air, as results from FIG. 3, is likewise possible and also provided, when required, also during operation of the combustion chamber 27 from FIG. 4.
 The subject according to the invention can be used with particular advantage in a gas turbine with at least one combustion chamber stage, wherein the hot gas which is produced is expanded in the gas turbine, performing work.
LIST OF DESIGNATIONS
 10 Burner arrangement
 11 Swirler
 12 Air/fuel mixture
 13 Mixer tube
 14 Combustion chamber
 15 Axis
 16 Injection device
 17, 18 Fuel feed line
 19 Valve
 20 Fuel lance
 21 Vertical outer tube of the fuel lance
 21' Horizontal outer tube of the fuel lance
 22 Inner tube
 23 Injection orifice
 24 Fuel
 25 Air
 26 Hot gas flow
 27 Low-pressure combustion chamber operated by means of self-ignition
 28 Vortex generators
 29 Fuel injection
 30 Fuel injection
 F1 Fuel (natural gas)
 F2 Fuel (H2-rich, for example syngas)
 α Injection angle
 α' Injection angle
Patent applications by Bettina Paikert, Oberrohrdorf CH
Patent applications by Richard Carroni, Niederrohrdorf CH
Patent applications by Alstom Technology Ltd. US
Patent applications by ALSTOM TECHNOLOGY LTD
Patent applications in class MIXER AND FLAME HOLDER
Patent applications in all subclasses MIXER AND FLAME HOLDER