DEVELOPMENT OF A SWIRL-STABILIZED PLASMA-ASSISTED BURNER WITH A RING-PIN ELECTRODE CONFIGURATION
A small plasma generation system was first developed using a ring-pin electrode configuration with the goal of producing a plasma disk at the burner outlet. Two distinct plasma regimes were identified: diffused and filamentary. Diffuse discharges were generated at low frequencies while filamentary discharges were generated at moderate to high frequencies. The induced flow fields generated by both diffuse and filamentary plasma discharges were investigated using high-speed schlieren visualization and particle image velocimetry. The rise in gas temperature was measured using optical emission spectroscopy. Lastly, the electrical properties for both types of plasma discharges was measured. The measurements provided a set of pulse parameters for the investigation of the plasma-flame interaction on the atmospheric pressure burner.An atmospheric pressure plasma-assisted burner with a ring-pin electrode geometry was designed and fabricated to investigate the effect of nanosecond repetitively pulsed discharges on methane-air flames. The burner can produce both Bunsen-type and swirl-stabilized flames (helical vane swirlers, swirl number of 0.62) with a modular design to allow for a removable block swirler component. Flame chemiluminescence and direct imaging of flame structure and dynamics was done to understand the burner’s operating limits. The burner can operate 6 – 13 kW flames, with flames stabilizing at approximately 2 inches above the burner exit. The effect of air flow rate on plasma formation was investigated and it was found that the high velocity of the incoming gas changes the plasma regime and electrical properties. Finally, the plasma discharge was applied on lifted, swirled flames and used for plasma-assisted ignition. For lifted swirled flames, we found that a minimum of 100 pulses is required to generate a filamentary discharge in the air stream. Higher number of pulses at high frequencies appeared to extinguish the primary flame. A minimum of 6000 was used for ignition. The plasma-assisted burner will allow for future studies to investigate the plasma flame coupling for various conditions using a wide variety of diagnostics.