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Special Issue "Micro-Combustors"

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A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Robert F. Richards (Website)

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University, PO Box 642920, Pullman, WA 99164-2920, USA
Fax: +1 509 335 4662
Interests: MEMS; actuators; sensors; energy conversion; micropower; heat and mass transfer

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The potential for small scale power sources based on microcombustors is great. Making use of high energy density hydrocarbon fuels (13 kWhr/kg) large scale combustion engines routinely achieve energy densities and power densities much greater than fuel cells or batteries. Combustion-based power sources can be quickly throttled to control power output. Moreover, the technologies of storing, transporting and burning liquid hydrocarbon fuels are well developed, at least on conventional scales. As attractive as these advantages are, producing small scale combustors that are robust, efficient and power dense has proven difficult. A great deal of work has been devoted to understanding the defining issues of small scale combustors and associated thermal conversion devices. However, the challenges are stiff. As combustor length scales shrink so do the residence times for fuel and oxidizer leading severe constraints on available combustion time. Likewise, reducing combustor size results in increased surface to volume ratios in micro combustors, creating difficulties with heat losses and leading to both thermal and chemical flame quenching. Finally, balance of plant issues, such as fuel storage, and delivery of fuel and combustion air become increasingly challenging as combustor size decreases. Meeting these challenges could open up many new opportunities in micropower systems.

Robert F. Richards
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • micro combustion
  • micro power generation
  • micro propulsion
  • MEMS

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle LES of a Meso Combustion Chamber with a Detailed Chemistry Model: Comparison between the Flamelet and EDC Models
Energies 2010, 3(12), 1943-1959; doi:10.3390/en3121943
Received: 20 October 2010 / Revised: 17 November 2010 / Accepted: 8 December 2010 / Published: 10 December 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of this paper is to contribute to the design of high-performance mesocombustors, a field currently under rapid development, in particular for propulsion, e.g., for UAVs, and micro/meso-electrical power generators. This study is focused on a cylindrical combustor of 29 cm3 [...] Read more.
The goal of this paper is to contribute to the design of high-performance mesocombustors, a field currently under rapid development, in particular for propulsion, e.g., for UAVs, and micro/meso-electrical power generators. This study is focused on a cylindrical combustor of 29 cm3, fuelled by methane and air, which provides 2 kW of thermal power. The device was entirely designed and built at the Sapienza University of Rome and coupled with an ultra-micro turbine. Two 3D LES simulations with detailed chemistry are presented. They differ only for the combustion models, so that a model comparison can be carried out. The calculated maximum temperature inside the chamber, the gas exhaust temperature and the combustion efficiency are compared and discussed. The results, reported at two different physical times, show the effects of the different combustion models, which predict different temperature and species concentration maps, but similar values for the combustion efficiency. Thermal, chemical and kinematic maps show that the Eddy Dissipation Concept allows for a more accurate estimatation of the performance parameters for application to first-order design procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro-Combustors)

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