Authors: Mebougna L. Drabo, Narinder K. Tutu, Thomas Butcher, Rebecca Trojanowski, Stephen U. Egarievwe
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of airflow through a retention head residential oil burner were carried out to study the velocity field near and around the fuel spray. The simulations revealed (as expected, based on some previous experimental measurements) the velocity flow field to be far from axisymmetric. Moreover, the center of the swirling airflow was found to be at some radial distance away from the physical centerline of the flame tube. Since it was suspected that the two electrodes just upstream of the retention ring of the burner might be responsible for this flow distortion, additional CFD simulations were then carried out for the cases of no electrodes and 4-electrodes. The results clearly show that all flow distortions (velocity deviations from axisymmetric value) vanish when no electrodes are present and that the flow distortions are reduced by a factor of 2 when two additional dummy electrodes (for a total of 4 electrodes) are included in the burner design. Furthermore, for the 4-electrode case, the eccentricity of the swirling airflow is reduced by almost a factor of 3 as compared to the base design case of 2-electrodes.
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