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combustion science resources

UCI Combustion Laboratory - Test Cells

The UCI Combustion Laboratory (www.ucicl.uci.edu) has evolved through 30 years of research ranging from basic science to practical applications. The UCICL is housed in the Engineering Laboratory Facility in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Complex on the main campus. Figure 1 shows a view of the facility looking west. The tall stacks are located immediately above the combustion test cells.

a) Photo Looking West

b) General Layout of the Facility (each cell, e.g., 101 is ~20’w x 25’l x15’ high)

Figure 1. UCI Combustion Laboratory.

Elevated Pressure Facilities

Support from NASA, the U.S. Air Force, the university, and industry has enabled the UCI Combustion Laboratory (UCICL) to establish the infrastructure and operational experience necessary to explore component and system performance at elevated temperature and pressures. Two pressure vessels are available at the UCICL that feature similar capabilities. The first vessel was originally designed and built 20 years ago in support of the NASA high speed transport program. The facility has been used for a variety of high pressure spray and combustor experiments and features significant optical access as well as full traversing, allowing detailed in-situ measurements to be obtained. A second facility with less optical access and no traversing has also been developed over the past decade with the purpose of providing long duration reacting experiments for exposure testing and durability evaluations. This facility can also serve as a combustion performance test rig (e.g., emissions and stability assessment). The two vessels are shown in Figure 2.

a) High Optical Access Facility
High Optical Access facility

b) Duration Testing Facility
Duration testing Facility

Figure 2. Elevated pressure facilities at the
UCI Combustion Laboratory

The operation of the vessels is maintained by the facility control system. The control system can route fuel and/or air flows to either vessel. The resources available can provide and control air flow rates up to 1.0kg/sec (2.2 pounds/sec), pressures of 15atmospheres, and temperatures up to 649°C (1200°F). The facility can also provide a high-pressure supply of liquid fuel and natural gas. A data acquisition system (LabView, National Instruments) monitors and controls the flow rates and experimental settings and records measurements from thermocouples and emissions analyzers onto a resident computer. These facilities are housed in Test Cells 117 and 217 as shown in Figure 1.

One of the vessels (shown on the left in Figure 2) is specifically designed to accommodate optical diagnostics. The chamber is traversed while the diagnostics remained fixed. Details regarding some of the key dimensions and layout of the ports are shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4.

Figure 3. Side View of Pressure Vessel

Figure 3.  Side View of Pressure Vessel (top flange and Z-traverse removed)


Figure 4.  Cross Section of Pressure Vessel at the Optical Height

Figure 4. Cross Section of Pressure Vessel at the Optical Height

Atmospheric Test Facilities

In addition to the two elevated pressure vessels, the UCICL maintains 3 atmospheric test cells dedicated to gas turbine research (Test Cells 201, 113, 213). Each test cell has two test stands to accommodate injector hardware, combustor components, and/or full systems. The stands are all designed to accommodate both conventional and laser diagnostic methods and feature traversing capability to map out parameters of interest such as fuel distribution and velocity. Each stand features flexibly configured flow metering and control as well as instrumentation for monitoring a variety of process variables such as flow rates, pressures, and temperatures.

Table 1 summarizes the general capabilities of the UCICL.

Table 1. Summary of UCICL Capabilities/Resources.

Air Factory:
4 lbs/sec up to 8 atm,
0.6 lb/sec at up to 30 atm

“Conventional” Diagnostics:
Extractive Emissions (3 rack systems for
criteria pollutants)
Air Toxics system (per EPA TO-5, TO-14)
Temperature, Soot, GC/MS
High Speed Video
Acoustic Sampling

Gaseous Fuels:
Natural Gas to 0.2 lb/sec, 500 psia
Hydrogen and Hydrogen/Nitrogen mix flows
Fuel Variation Simulation Facility
natural gas
biomass gases
landfill gas
digester gas
process gases

Laser Diagnostics:
Laser Anemometry (2 2D systems)
Digital Particle Image Velocimetry (1 system)
Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (1)
Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (2 systems)
Laser Rayleigh
Laser Diffraction
Phase Doppler Interferometry (2 systems)
Optical Patternation
Differential Absorption
Intensity Ratioing for Soot
Transient Grating Spectroscopy

Power System Computer Simulation Program
Computational Fluid Dynamics (Fluent, Fluent-UNS, CFD Ace+)
Chemical Kinetics (Reaction
Thermodynamic and Cycle Analyses
Dynamic Systems Modeling

Liquid Fuels:
High Pressure System (400 lb/hr, 800 psia)
Mid Pressure System (100 lb/hr, 400 psia)
Mil-C-7024E-Type II Calibration Fluid
Single Component Hydrocarbons (Heptane, Isooctane, dodecane, etc.)

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Last updated on August 11, 2010 9:24 AM -

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