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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects of equivalence ratio variations on turbulent flame speed in lean methane/air mixtures under lean-burn natural gas engine operating conditions

  • Author(s): Wang, Z
  • Motheau, E
  • Abraham, J
  • et al.

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Direct numerical simulations of turbulent premixed CH4/air flames were carried out using an inflow-outflow configuration to study the effects of equivalence ratio on the turbulent flame speed in lean mixtures. The inflow velocity was dynamically adjusted at a run-time to stabilize the flame brush location within the computational domain. Linear forcing was applied to maintain the turbulent intensities at desired levels. Numerous equivalence ratios near the lean limit were selected for the same turbulence properties and the normalized turbulent flame speed was shown to be a function of the equivalence ratio. Simulations were performed for over 80 eddy turnover times with the turbulent flame speed obtained by averaging the inflow velocity. Results revealed that the equivalence ratio does not have an explicit effect on the normalized turbulent flame speed over the lean limit. Analysis of flame surface area showed that the surface wrinkling produced by eddies of varying scales was not influenced by the change in equivalence ratios when the Karlovitz and Damkohler numbers are fixed. Finally based on the flame surface statistics flame surface normal is preferentially parallel to the most compressive strain rate direction for all equivalence ratios.

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