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Simulation of Turbulent Combustion

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Modern energy conversion devices such as gas turbines/jet engines, internal combustion engines for cars, trucks and district energy systems have evolved over many decades. Their performance must be improved further to meet future needs, particularly with respect to fuel efficiency and pollutant emissions, and there are clear opportunities to improve existing designs. To realize these, the fundamental transport and combustion processes need to be carefully taken into account in the design process, which necessitates detailed numerical simulation. The challenges of simulating turbulent combustion processes are many. Simulating turbulence is itself particularly difficult because turbulent flows exhibit a vast range of length- and time-scales that either need to be resolved on one’s computational grid or modeled in some way. Adding the complexity of chemical reactions to the system adds many more time-scales and this can make the problem almost intractable. This talk will describe the problem in brief, then discuss some solutions, starting with addressing first the need for improved chemical kinetic mechanisms, then the need to reduce their complexity to make them compatible with simulations of turbulent flows. Finally, the need to account for the complex interactions between turbulence and chemical reaction will be discussed and results of simulations will be compared to experimental data.

Short bio:

W. Kendal Bushe graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta in 1992. He went to Cambridge University to obtain his PhD in 1996, then took a post-doctoral research fellowship with the Center for Turbulence Research at Stanford University and NASA ’s Ames Research Center. He has been a Professor at the University of British Columbia since 1999 where he has been working on clean energy-related research, including in engines and gas-turbines. His work primarily focuses on the numerical simulation of turbulent reacting flows.

This talk is part of the Hopkinson Seminars series.

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