(210i) Design Optimization of BioEnergy Combustion Systems Using Sculptor® with CFD

Authors: 
Rao, V. M., Missouri University of Science & Technology
In the past, design improvements for combustion equipment including process burners, gas flares, vent incinerators, etc. has been accomplished using the â??build and tryâ? method. This tried and true approach was very expensive and took a significant time to consider three or four â??newâ? designs before settling on the â??optimalâ? configuration intended to reduce pressure loss and/or improve local mixing. Efficient optimization algorithms coupled with comprehensive multi-physics computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools have been developed and applied to assist in evaluating hundreds of designs to find the â??optimalâ? solution.

Sculptor® from Optimal Solutions Software (OSS) automates shape optimization using computer aided engineering (CAE) tools including CFD, FEA and others. This approach is particularly useful for processes where chemically reacting flows and heat transfer govern the performance of combustion equipment, chemical reactors, heat exchangers, and other process equipment.

This paper discusses design optimization of a biomass fired furnace. Various designs of a co-fired biomass/coal reactor are examined to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving combustion efficiency and lowering NOx formation. Results illustrate the current state-of-the-art in design optimization using coupled CAE tools to improve equipment performance. Based on this analysis, implications of various design options are discussed and recommendations are provided regarding potential improvements in burner design.