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Gas turbine combustors

Somewhat paralleling the recuperator history, Brayton’s engineers have participated in innovative combustor development programs since the early 1980’s.  The experience of our staff consultant and mentor, Roy Norster, dates back even further.  Our team led the very successful NREC and Ingersoll-Rand combustor development programs, achieving NOx and CO levels below those of any commercial gas turbine or microturbine.  Recent Brayton projects have focused on advances in gas turbine combustor durability and bio-fuels combustion in gas turbines.  Past projects have involved traditional gas turbine combustors, advanced premix-lean burn gas turbine combustors, thermal reactors,  and fiber burners.

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Fuels :

Brayton maintains in-house capability to perform combustion testing with a wide range fuels.   Our facility maintains strict safety procedures and is subject to periodic inspection by our local fire safety officer and our insurance company.

Gaseous fuels

liquid fuels

Solid fuels

Methane JP4 Wood chips
Landfill gas Diesel and kerosene Sawdust
Propane Bio-oils Algae
Synthetic gas (CO, CH4) Ethanol Bagasse
Hydrogen Sorghum

Projects and Clients:  Some of our past and current projects are highlighted below

Project Application Brayton Experience
Wilson TurboPower Gas turbine combustor a very high firing temperature, highly regenerated cycle, this design addressed the severe challenges of achieving CARB-level emissions, durability and compactness.
Arizona Public Service hybrid bio-fuel & solar combustor Design is incorporated in the SolarCAT engine
SEMPRA / SoCal Gas natural gas combustor Operating at high cycle pressures and high inlet temp.  The resulting design meets the NOx levels required to meet CARB standards.
Industrial gas turbine companies Gas turbine combustor Brayton has designed several gas turbine combustors for industrial clients - continually expanding our experience base.  Our team specializes in the unique aspects of low emission combustors for recuperated gas turbine cycles.
Capstone C65 liquid fuel and bio-fuel microturbine combustor This program improved the clients understanding of their combustor and led to improvements in atomization and a reduction in smoking.  A combination of Brayton’s advanced CFD, emissions models, and testing methods were employed in this project.
TDI Aero-turbine test rig Working on Tech Development SBIR, we performed preliminary design of a 30 bar combustor, delivering 1300 C gas temp to a turbine blade test section.
Next Generation MicroTurbine Advanced gas turbine combustor This California Energy Commission and SoCal Gas Company sponsored project is developing a new ultra-low emission combustor.
Universidade Federal de Itajuba (Brazil). Solid fuel combustion for gas turbines Our ongoing collaboration with the technical university of Brazil and Petrobraz  focuses on gas turbines and biofuels combustion.

Combustion Test Facilities

Brayton maintains two well equipped and highly specialized combustion test facilities:

  • High Pressure – high inlet temperature unvitiated combustor rig
  • Low pressure – solid fuel combustion rig and  laboratory

High Pressure Gas Turbine Combustor Facility

Our recuperated gas turbine test rig is distinguished by our capability to deliver pre-heated fresh-air to the test combustors at very high pressure and flow.  Some of the general specifications are listed below.

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