Combustion Systems

Reaction and combustion systems generate heat as an essential part of many processes. Improving heat generation operations along with related emissions control and performance efficiency are continual challenges to combustion engineers. ANSYS computational fluid dynamic (CFD) solutions are used across a wide range of applications, from gas turbines to flares and coal combustion to flameless combustion and low-Nox burners to oxy-fuel combustors, gasifiers and biomass furnaces. By coupling CFD with ANSYS structural solutions, engineers have access to a unified environment for evaluating the entire combustion system — including thermal stresses, vibration and fatigue.

Low NOx burner 

Courtesy GE Energy, 2004 General Electric Company.

The study of combustion and related flow phenomena in reactors provides critical insights for retrofitting existing equipment as well as designing new processes. Engineering simulation solutions from ANSYS provide combustion engineers with all the capabilities they need to increase system performance, understand pollution sources, develop strategies to reduce an overall carbon footprint, and control emissions from a wide range of fuel and combustion systems, covering gaseous, solid and liquid fuels from simple to complex reaction mechanisms.

Typically, the simulation of combustion equipment involves modeling and assessing fluid flows — including reaction, radiation and thermal phenomena. Coal and other fuels are represented as a secondary phase and are fully coupled with fluid flows. ANSYS tools enable the simulation of a broad range of particulate concentrations, from dilute flows to packed beds. Simulations provide local velocities, particulate concentrations and traces, composition of combustion gases, fuel conversion rates, temperatures, and other critical data. These insights enable combustion engineers to investigate operational issues such as local temperature peaks, combustion efficiency and mixing problems.

Special features in ANSYS software allow combustion engineers to simulate additional combustion processes and characteristics. For example, pollutant formation, emission and mercury levels can be predicted using detailed chemistry and pollutant formation submodels. Similarly, specialized ANSYS tools can model and predict erosion rates and slag buildup rates in furnaces. 

ANSYS engineering simulation tools have helped customers to overcome these and other combustion-related challenges:

  • Improve burner configurations in industrial furnaces
  • Reduce NOx emissions from petroleum refineries
  • Investigate novel clean energy technologies
  • Predict and improve CO emission rates
  • Model and minimize thermal stresses in combustion equipment
  • Reduce soot formation in furnaces
  • Optimize flare stack designs