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DesignEquationsforaGasBurner

Theforcewhichdrivesthegasandairintotheburneristhepressureof
gasinthepipeline.Thekeyequationthatrelatesgaspressuretoflowis
Bernoullistheorem(assumingincompressibleflow):
p v
g
z
r
+ + =
2
2
constant
where: pisthegaspressure(Nm
2
),
r isthegasdensity(kgm
3
),
visthegasvelocity(ms
1
),
gistheaccelerationduetogravity(9.81ms
2
)and
zishead(m). Foragas,head(z)canbeignored.
Bernoullistheoremessentiallystatesthatforanidealgasflow,the
potentialenergyduetothepressure,plusthekineticenergyduetothe
velocityoftheflowisconstant
Inpractice,withgasflowingthroughapipe,Bernoullistheoremmustbe
modified.Anextratermmustbeaddedtoallowforenergylossdueto
friction inthepipe:
p v
g
f
r
+ - =
2
2
( ) losses constant .
Usingcompressibleflowtheory,flowthoughanozzleofareaAis:
( )
( )
g g g
r g
g
r
1 2
0
0
0
1
1
2
-
-





-
= r r
p
A C m
d
&
where p
0
and r
0
arethepressureanddensityofthegasupstreamofthe
nozzleand
0 1
p p r = ,where p
1
isthepressuredownstreamofthe
nozzle.
Injectororificeorjet
Theamountofgasusedbyaburneriscontrolledbythesizeofthegas
jetorinjectororifice(anorificeisaholeinaplate).Thisisusually
abrassthimblewithaholedrilledintheend,screwedontotheendofthe
gaslinefitting,sothatitcanbeeasilyreplaced.Aswellascontrolling
thegasflowrate,theinjectorhasthe secondimportantroleofseparating
theburnerfromthegassupply.Itshouldbeimpossibleforaflameto
enterthegassupplypipe.
Injectorsonlargerburnersmayhavemorethanonehole,mainlyto
reducenoise.
Thegasflowrate(Q)isrelatedtothe gasvelocity(v)bythearea(A)of
thepipethroughitisflowing:
Q v A =
Forgasflowthroughanorifice,theareaoftheholeisnotnecessarilythe
areaoftheflow.Asuddenchangeinflowareacausesavena
contracta,anarrowingoftheflowtoanareasmallerthanthatofthe
holeitself:
Orifice
VenaContractor
Anorificeplatecanbeusedtomeasuregasflowoveraverywiderange
offlowconditions,includingveryhighflowrates.
Gasflowthroughaninjectororifice(jet)
AnempiricalversionofBernoullistheoremisusedtodefinetheflow
rate:
Q C A
p
s
d
=0 0467
0
.
where: Q =gasflowrate(m
3
h
1
),
A
0
=areaoforifice(mm
2
)
p =gaspressurebeforeorifice(mbar)
s =specificgravityofgas
C
d
=coefficientofdischargefortheorifice.
Thecoefficientofdischargefortheorificetakesintoaccountthevena
contractorandfrictionlossesthroughtheorifice.Itusuallyhasavalue
between0.85and0.95.
Orificedesign
b b
c c
a
Screw
thread
Orifice
injector
To maximise C
d
,theangle(a)ofapproachbeforetheorificeshouldbe
30andthelengthoftheorificechannel(b)shouldbebetween1.5and2
timestheorificediameter(c).
Toensureaccuracy,eachjetisusuallycalibratedindividuallyusinga
fixedpressureairsupplyandaflowmeteranditsvalueofC
d
markedon
it.
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
0 20 40 60 80 100
Pressureofbiogasatorifice(p mbar)
F
l
o
w

o
f

b
i
o
g
a
s

(
Q

m
3

h

1
)

1
1.5
5.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5 6
Orificediameter(d mm)
Graphof: Q C d
p
s
d
=0 036
2
. where disthe orificediameter(mm)
C
d
istakenas0.9.
BiogasCombustion
Biogasburnsinoxygentogivecarbondioxideandwater:
CH + 2O CO + 2H O
4 2 2 2

Onevolumeofmethanerequirestwovolumesofoxygen,togiveone
volumeofcarbondioxideandtwovolumesofsteam.
Sincethereis58%methaneinbiogasand21%oxygeninair:
1
0 58
172
.
. = volumesofbiogasrequire
2
0 21
9 52
.
. = volumesofair,
or: 1volumeofbiogasrequires
9 52
172
5 53
.
.
. = volumesofairor
1
1 5 53
0153
+
=
.
. =15.3%biogasinair(stochiometricairrequirement).
Biogaswillburnoverafairlynarrowrangeofmixturesfrom9%to17%
biogasinair.
Iftheflameistoorich,hastoomuchfuel,thenitwillburnbadlyand
incompletely,givingcarbonmonoxide(whichispoisonous)andsoot
(carbonparticles).
Burnersareusuallyrunslightlylean,withasmallexcessofair,to
avoidthedangeroftheflamebecomingrich.
Inmostburners,airismixedwiththegasbeforeitisburntinaflame
(preaeration).Postaeratedflames,wherethegasisignitedattheendof
thegasline,giveverypoorcombustion.
Theamountofprimaryairaddedtothegasbeforetheflame,varies
dependingonthedesignofburner,butisusuallyaround50%ofthetotal
airrequirement.
Flames
Gas
Throat
Airinletports
Injector
Primaryair
Burnerport
Mixingtube Gas/air
mixture
Secondaryair
Innercone
Flamefront
Combustionzone
Outermantle
Asgascomesoutoftheinjector,airisentrainedintothestreamandis
mixedinthemixingtubewiththegasbeforeitcomesoutoftheburner
port.Theunburnedgasisheatedupinaninnerconeandstarts
burningattheflamefront.Theconeshape isaresultoflaminarflow
inacylindricalmixingtube,themixtureatthecentreofthetubeis
movingatahighervelocitythanthatattheoutside.
Themaincombustionzoneiswherethegasburnsintheprimaryair
andgeneratestheheatintheflame.TheOutermantleoftheflameis
wherecombustioniscompletedwiththeaidofthesecondaryairthatis
drawnintotheflamefromthesides.
Thecombustionproducts(carbondioxideandsteam)areatahigh
temperature,soriseverticallyawayfromtheflame,transferringheatto
theairclosetothetopoftheflame.Itisthisairmovingverticallyaway
thatdrawsinthecoolersecondaryairtothebaseoftheflame.
Thesizeoftheinnerconedependsontheprimaryaeration.Ahigh
proportionofprimaryairmakestheflamemuchsmallerand
concentrated,givinghigherflametemperatures.
Entrainment
Thegasemergingfromtheinjectorenterstheendofthemixingtubeina
regioncalledthethroat.Thethroathasamuchlargerdiameterthan
theinjector,sothevelocityofthegasstreamismuchreduced.
Thevelocity(v
0
)ofthegasintheinjectororificeisgivenby:
v
Q
A
0
3
0
3 6 10
=

-
.
ms
1
,with Qinm
3
h
1
and A
0
inmm
2
.
whilethevelocityinthethroatisreducedto:
v v
A
A
v
d
d
t
t
t
= =
0
0
0
0
2
2
ignoringthevenacontractorandfriction.
Thegaspressurejustafterthenozzlethenbecomes:
p p
v
g
d
d
t
t
= - -












0
0
2
0
4
2
1 r
Thevalueofp
0
isaroundatmosphericpressure,asthethroatisopento
theair,sothisdropinpressureissufficienttodrawprimaryairin
throughtheairinletportstomixwiththegasinthemixingtube.
Theprimaryaerationdependsontheentrainmentratio(r),whichis
determinedbytheareaofthethroatandtheinjector:
r s
A
A
s
d
d
t t
= -





= -




0 0
1 1 (Priggsformula)
where A
t
and d
t
aretheareaanddiameterofthethroatand A
0
and d
0
are
theareaanddiameteroftheinjector.
Priggsformulaholdsifthetotalflameportarea(A
p
)isbetween1.5and
2.2timestheareaofthethroat.Thisratioisapproximatelyindependent
ofthegaspressureandtheflowrate.Theprimaryairsupplyisrarely
enoughtogiveastochiometricmixture.
Throatsize
Theflowrateofthemixtureinthethroat(Q
m
)isthengivenby:
( )
Q
Q r
m
=
+ 1
3600
withQ
m
inm
3
s
1
andQ inm
3
h
1
.
Thepressuredropduetotheflowofthemixturedownthemixingtube
shouldbechecked,byfirstcalculatingtheReynoldsnumber:
t
m
t
m t t t
d
Q
d
Q d v d
m p
r
p
m
r
m
r 4 4
Re
2
=
/
= =
/
where r and m arethedensityandviscosityforthemixture
(use r =1.15kgm
3
and m =1.71 10
5
Pasat30C).
Thepressuredrop(Dp)isthengivenby:
Dp
f
v
L
d
f Q
d
L
t
m
t
m
t
m
= =
2 2
16
2
2
2 5
r r
p
where f =
64
Re
,whenRe<2000and f =
0 316
14
.
Re
whenRe>2000
Thepressuredropshouldbemuchlessthanthedrivingpressure.
Mostburnersaredesignedtohaveathroatthatgivesanaerationgreater
thanoptimum,withadeviceforrestrictingtheairflow,sotheoptimum
aerationcanbesetforagivensituation:
Injector
Rotatingslider
Throat
Airinletports
Lever
Asimplemethodofaircontrolonacylindricalmixingtubeistomake
theairinletportsasholesinthecylinderwall,atrightanglestothe
lengthofthecylinder.Theseholesshouldbehorizontal,ratherthan
vertical,topreventgasseepingoutatlowflowrates.Theholescanbe
partiallycoveredbyaconcentricsectionofcylinder,withidenticalholes
init,thatcanberotatedbyalever.Themaximumareaoftheholes
shouldbelargerthanthecrosssectionalareaofthethroat.
Throat
Airinlet
ports
Slidingshutter
Injector
Amorecomplexmethodtodothesamejobistomakeslotsinaflatdisk
thatfitsbehindthegasinjector.
Throat
Diskon
athread
Airinlet
port
Injector
ortomountadiskonathreadontheinjectorpipe,sotheairport canbe
openedandclosedbyrotatingthediskupanddownthescrew.
Mixingtube
Foracylindricalthroat,themixingtubemustbelongenoughtoallow
goodmixingofthegasandair.Alengthof10 d
t
isusually
recommended.
Venturi
Anotherwayofmakingthemixingtubeisasaventuriordiffuser,
withapipethattapersintothethroatandtaperssmoothlyawayagain:
Injector
Diffuser Throat
Venturi
Theairflowcanbeadjustedbyscrewingtheinjectorintooroutofthe
throat,orbymovingthethroatrelativetotheinjector.
Injector
Venturi Diffuser
Throttle
Theairflowintheventuricanalsobecontrolledbyfittingathrottle,
eitheravanethatcanbeturnedorascrewthatcanbescrewedinto
blockthethroat.
Aventuricanbeshorterthanacylindricalmixingtube(6 d
t
),sois
oftenusedwherespaceislimited,suchasinlamps.
Burnerports
Thebigadvantageofagasburneristhattheheatcanbedirectedto
whereitisneeded,bydesigningtheburnerproperly.However,the
designmustallowforparticularproblemsthatcanoccurwhenburning
gas,especiallybiogas.
Lightingback
Itispossiblefortheflameataburnerporttotravelbackdownthe
mixingtubetotheinjector.Thisiscalledlightingback.
Flame
Flamefront
movinginto
burnerport
Burner
port
Gas/airmixture
Thewaytoovercomelightingbackistochooseaburnerportsize
smallerthanacertainsize.Forportsinthinmetal,thiswillbe2.5mm
diameterfornaturalgas.Iftheburnerportisdrilledinthickermetal,
thenitcanbelarger.
Becausebiogashassuchalowflamespeed,lightingbackisnotusuallya
problem.5mmdiameterholesin5 mmthickmetaldonotseemtolight
back.
Flamelift
Theoppositeeffectisarealproblemwithbiogas,thatoftheflamelifting
offtheburnerport:
Gas/airmixture
Burnerport
Flame
Flamefront
liftingoff
burnerport
Theflameliftsofffromtheportandcanblowoffandgoout.Flame
liftoccurswhenthespeedofthegas/airmixturethroughtheburnerport
ishigherthanthespeedoftheflameburninginthegas.Biogashasa
stochiometricflamespeedofonly0.25ms
1
,sothetotalflameportarea
mustbechosensothatthemixture velocitythroughtheportsismuch
lowerthanthisfigure.Theflamevelocityattheflamefrontislikelyto
be50%ofthestochiometricvalue,astheflameisnotfullyaeratedatthis
point.
Eveniftheburnerportsizeisdesignedcorrectlyforaparticular
situation,avariationinconditionscanresultinflamelift.Alterationsin
theentrainmentratio,causedbyadjustmentsintheprimaryaircontrols,
orbypartialblockageoftheairinletsbydirt,cancausetheflame
velocityattheflamefronttochange.Increasedsupplypressurewill
increasethemixtureflowrateandvelocity,alsocausingflamelift.
Themixturesupplyvelocity(v
p
)isgivenby:
v
Q
A
p
m
p
= << 0 25 . ms
1
,with
( )
Q
Q r
m
=
+ 1
3600
inm
3
s
1
.and
A
p
,thetotalburnerportareainm
2
, =n
d
p
p
p
2
4
where: n
p
isthenumberofports,eachofdiameterd
p
inm.
Burnermanifold
Theflowofthegas/airmixturethrougheachoftheburnerportsmustbe
uniform,soeachburnerportshouldbeofthesamesize.Alsothe
pressuredropinthesupplypipesleadingtotheburnerportsmustbeof
thesamevalue.Theusualwaytoensurethisistouseamanifoldthatis
symmetricalandwithacrosssectionalareathatismuchlargerthanthe
totalflameportarea:
Flameports
Largecrosssection
symetricalmanifold
Mixture
Forabarburner,withtheflameportsarrangedinlineonacylindricalor
rectangulartube,itiscommontoplacethemixingtubesothemixture
comesoutatthecentreofthemanifold:
Burnerports
Manifold
Mixingtube
Baffle
Bafflesmayberequiredtobalancetheflowpatternswithinthemanifold,
sotheflamesizeisuniform.
Burnerportsareoftenroundinshape,butcanbemadeanyshape.
Burnerbarsoftenuseslottedports,astheygivefanshapedflames.
Ribbonburnersaremadebyplacingalternatestripsofflatand
corrugatedmetalstripstogether:
Burnerportdesign
Thetotalareaoftheburnerportsislimitedbytheneedtopreventflame
lift,asabove.Itcanalsobedefinedbytheheatoutputfromtheburner
ports,whichshouldbelessthan900Wcm
2
(0.09Wm
2
)ofburnerport
area.
Thesizeandpositioningoftheindividualburnerportsaredefinedby
variousfactors,suchastheheatpatternrequired,theneedforburner
portstobecloseenoughtogetherforcrosslightingandtheneedforan
adequatesupplyofsecondaryair.
Domesticstoves,usedmainlyforcooking,usuallyhaveburnerports
arrangedinacircularpattern,asmostcookingpotshaveacircularbase.
Thesizeofthecircledependsontheaveragesizeofthecookingpotsto
beused.Waterheatersusuallyuseoneormorebarburnersarranged
underarectangularboiler.
Crosslighting
Aburnerisusuallylitatoneplace,sotheflamesshouldjumpfromone
burnerporttothenext, sothewholeburnerisalight.Alsotheflamesat
individualburnerportsmaygoout,socrosslightingisessential.
Forbiogas,thegapsbetweenburnerportsshouldbearound5mmto
ensurecrosslightingoccurs.
Secondaryairsupply
Thepatternofburnerportsshouldallowsecondaryairtoreacheachport
withoutinterference.
Secondaryairableto
reachallholes
Secondaryairunableto
reachholesatcentre
Thefirstpatternwouldproduceapoorburningpattern,withtheflames
fromthecentralburnerportsbeingmuchhigherthanthoseattheedge
becausesecondaryairispreventedfromreachingthem.Thesecond
patternallowsairtoreacheachoftheburnerholes.
Flamestabilisation
Severalmethodscanbeusedtoreducetheproblemofflamelift.The
supplyofsecondaryairtotheflamecanbeincreasedbyputtingthe
burnerportsinaraisedledge,orbyputtingthematanangletothe
horizontal:
Raised
burner
ports
Angled
burner
ports Ledge
Thesecondmethodusesretentionflames,smallflamesarrangedaround
themainflametoholditontotheburnerport.Thevelocityofthe
mixtureenteringthesesmallerburnerportsisoftenreducedby
increasingthefrictionlossesintotheseports,usingmeteringorifices:
Gas/air
mixture
Metering
flowthrough
narrowports
Mainflow
through
burnerport
Mainflame
Retention
flames
Thethirdmethodusessuddenchangesinflowareaattheburnerportto
giveeddies,thathelpinflamestabilisation:
Gas/air
mixture
Eddies
Potsupports
Thegasinaflamemustbeatahightemperatureforthe
combustionreactiontoproceed.Iftheflameiscooled,the
reactionsarequenchedandthereactionsareincomplete.
Biogasburninginairwillproducecarbonmonoxideandcarbon
particles(soot)ifthereactionisquenched.
Quenchingisuseful,asitpreventslightingbackinburnerports
thatareofthecorrectsize.Theflamecannotpassthroughthe
portasthemetalcoolsit.
Thecorrectpositioningoftheobjecttobeheated(e.g.apotof
foodtobecooked)abovetheflameisthereforeimportant.If
theobjectistooclosetotheflame,theflameisquenchedand
thecombustionisincompleteandtheefficiencyofthestoveis
reduced.Iftheobjectistoofarawayfromtheflame,heatislost
totheatmosphereandthestoveisagainlessefficient.
Thebestpositionforthebaseoftheobjectbeingheatedisjust
abovethetipofthevisibleflame,justoutsidetheoutermantle,
abovethehottestpartoftheflame.
Theflame height,though,dependsonavarietyoffactors.A
keyvariableisthevelocityofthegas/airmixturethroughthe
burnerports,whichinturndependsonthesizeoftheburner
portsandthegaspressure.Thedegreeofprimaryaerationof
theburneraffectsboththemixturevelocityandtheheightofthe
innerconeoftheflame,whichinturnaffectsthefullflame
height.Greaterprimaryaerationwillreducetheflameheight.
Inpractice,thepositionoftheobjecttobeheatedneedstobe
designedonceaprototypeburnerhasbeenmadeandtheflame
lengthfortypicalconditionshasbeenmeasured.Thedesignof
thepotsupportheightfordomesticstoves,forexample,may
needtobeleftuntiltherestofthestovecanbemadeandtested.
Atypicalvaluefortheheightbetweentheflameportsandthe
potbasewas25to30mmfor5mmburnerports,usingbiogas
at10mbarpressure.Smallerflameportsshouldleadtoshorter
flames.
Biogasappliance Powersupply
(kW)
Biogasconsumption
(10mbar)(m
3
h
1
)
Gaslamp 0.8 0.18
'fridgeburner 0.8 0.18
Domesticburners 1.2to5.5 0.3to1.2
Commercialburners 5.5to17 1.2to4
Dualfuelengines perkWout 0.56
Sparkengines perkWout 0.7
Gasconsumptionofvariousbiogasappliances
Materialsofconstruction
Gasburnercomponentsareusuallymadeofcastmetal,asthey
musttakehightemperatures,beveryrobustandwithstand
corrosion.Manypartscanbemadefromaluminium,exceptfor
thosepartswhichmightreachtemperaturesaboveitssoftening
point(600C).Castiron isusedforpartsthatreachhigher
temperatures,asitisfairlyresistanttocorrosion.However,itis
brittleandcanshatterifdroppedontoahardsurface.Mildsteel
cantakehightemperatures,isnotbrittle,iseasilyweldedandis
verystrong,socanbeusedformanycomponents.However
steelissusceptibleto corrosionsomustbecoatedwitha
corrosioninhibitorthatcanwithstandthetemperatureinwhich
thesteelisbeingused.Therearealuminiumbasedpaintsthat
aredesignedforhightemperatureuse,aswellasvitreous
enamelsthatarebakedontothemetalsurface.
Gasburnerpartscanalsobemadefromceramics,whichare
muchcheaperthanmetals,easytomouldandcanbebakedina
furnacetogiveahardmaterialthatcanwithstandhigh
temperaturesandisnotsusceptibletocorrosion.Themain
disadvantageisthattheyarebrittleandcanshatterifdroppedon
ahardsurface.Biogasburnershavebeenmadealmostentirely
fromceramic,apartfromtheorificeandinjectortube