Environmental benefits of low emissions lean burn technology in reducing NOx emissions up to 80%, will only be effective when these are deployed to a large range of new aero-engine applications. While integrating and developing low emission combustion design rules, IMPACT-AE will deliver novel combustion chamber design methodologies for advanced engine architectures and thermodynamic cycles.
The IMPACT-AE project will support European engine manufacturers to pick up and keep pace with US competitors, being already able to exploit their new low emission combustion technology to various engine applications with short turn-around times.
Key element of the project will be the development and validation of design methods for low emissions combustion chambers to reduce NOx and CO emissions by optimisation of the combustion chamber aero-design process.
Preliminary combustion chamber design tools will be coupled with advanced parameterisation and automation tools. Improved heat transfer and NOx models will increase the accuracy of the numerical prediction. The advanced representation of low emission combustion chambers and the capability to investigate combustion chamber scaling effects, allow an efficient optimisation of future combustion chambers targeting a cut of combustion chamber development time by 50%.
IMPACT-AE is split into four technical work packages:
- WP1Development of smart design methodologies for clean combustion as central WP to deliver the new methodology for combustion chamber design;
- WP2Modelling and design of advanced combustion chamber wall cooling concepts for combustion chamber liner design definition as key technology area;
- WP3Technology validation by detailed flame diagnostics to substantiate fuel injector design rules implemented into the design methodology;
- WP4Methodology demonstration for efficient low NOx combustion chambers will validate the combustion chamber design.
The consortium consists of all major aero-engine manufactures in Europe, 7 universities and 3 research establishments with recognised experience in low emission combustion research and 10 SMEs.
Improving design for cleaner aero-engines
An EU-funded initiative is improving the design process for low-emission combustors for aero-engines, which will dramatically reduce development time.
The 'Intelligent design methodologies for low pollutant combustors for aero-engines' (http://www.impact-ae.eu/ (IMPACT-AE)) project will develop and validate smart design systems for highly efficient aero-engine combustors centred on lean burn engines. This is based on the concept that excess air introduced into the engine will lower the temperature of the combustion process. This in turn will reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx) produced.
IMPACT-AE brings together all the major aero-engine manufacturers in Europe with universities, research establishments and small and medium-sized enterprises. The aim is to develop new methods for designing improved combustors capable of reducing NOx and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions.
Project partners are developing new design tools and improving models of heat transfer and NOx. The advanced representation of low-emission combustors and the ability to investigate scaling effects will help reduce combustor development time by half. Research is focused on the new methodology for combustor design and the modelling of advanced combustor wall cooling concepts.
Key elements for low-emissions combustor design systems were developed, combustor models created, and the generation of meshes for computational fluid dynamic calculations were automated. The design process is also being automated and linked to preliminary design methods.
Simultaneously, the consortium is carrying out an assessment of rapid manufacturing technologies for combustor components like fuel injectors. Flame diagnostics are currently being performed to assess the new combustion technology and test rigs were established to validate the low-emission combustor design methodology.
IMPACT-AE will significantly reduce the time required for developing combustors compared to other state-of-the-art processes. It will also help reduce CO and NOx emissions and provide a blue print for future aero-engine design. Successful outcomes will help reduce pollution while enabling European manufacturers to compete more effectively with global competitors.