GE announces project to develop next gen fuel injectors

GE announces project to develop next gen fuel injectors
GE Global Research has been selected by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to participate in a new incubator programme that will use high performance computing to accelerate the development of next generation fuel injectors for GE's engine fleet.

The company will partner with researchers from Arizona State University and Cornell University to gain a better understanding of critical unsteady spray phenomena observed in fuel injectors used in today's liquid fueled engines.

GE hopes to discover an ideal spray pattern and fuel injector design, and reduce its number of lengthy, real world optimisation trials.

"Currently fuel injectors are designed after lengthy optimisation trials, partly because today's fuel injectors have complex geometries that challenge conventional wisdom on how these injectors work," said GE mechanical engineer Madhu Pai. "High fidelity computer simulations can significantly reduce the number of trials and can provide insight into why a fuel injector behaves the way it does."

Using the supercomputer, the scientists will apply a methodology called Large Eddy Simulation to model the fuel injector. "The supercomputer will give us a 360° view of the inside of the injector, so that we can better understand the physics behind the design," Pai explained. "Having a better understanding of how the fuel/air mixture combusts will help us ultimately build more powerful engines that consume less fuel and have lower emissions."

While the research is initially aimed at aircraft engines, GE believes the methodology could also be used in other products, such as locomotive engines and land based gas turbines.

The project is due to begin this month at LLNL's facility in California.

Author
Laura Hopperton

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