The prime motivation to the renewed interest in meso and micro-scale power generation is the limited energy resources and the strong demand of long-lasting power sources for electronics devices. It is essential to fully understand the underlying factors that affect the combustion stability in meso and micro-scale combustors. Due to the small scale of micro combustors, numerical simulations can be utilized to investigate vital parameters that affect the combustion characteristics.
This paper demonstrates a symmetrical three-dimensional steady state numerical simulation of propane-air combustion in meso-scale cylindrical quartz tube combustors with a stainless steel wire mesh
. The inner diameter of the tube and the thickness of the wall are set to 3.5 mm and 0.7 mm, respectively. The wire mesh with a thickness of 0.2 mm is placed between the unburned and burned gas region. The material of the wire mesh is stainless steel. The main function of this wire mesh is to act as a flame holder where a stable flame can be easily established. The results in terms of gas, inner wall and the wire mesh surface temperature distributions are analyzed and presented.
Flame stabilization limits at a fixed equivalence ratio were also numerically determined. Experiments were performed to compare these limits. A simulation with geometrical disconnection between the wire mesh and the inner wall was also performed to examine the effect of thermal path between the wire mesh and the inner wall on the blowout limit. The results show that the proposed numerical model can sufficiently represent the propane-air combustion in the meso-scale tube combustor. It is also demonstrated that the wire mesh has a significant impact on the flame stabilization limit.