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Development of a 100 kW plasma torch for plasma assisted combustion of low heating value fuels

Abstract : Most thermal power plants need an auxiliary power source to (i) heat-up the boiler during start up phases before reaching autonomy power and (ii) sustain combustion at low load. This supplementary power is commonly provided with high LHV fossil fuel burners which increases operational expenses and disables the use of anti-pollutant filters. A Promising alternative is under development and consists in high temperature plasma assisted AC electro-burners. In this paper, the development of a new 100 kW three phase plasma torch with graphite electrodes is detailed. This plasma torch is working at atmospheric pressure with air as plasma gas and has three-phase power supply and working at 680 Hz. The nominal air flow rate is 60 Nm3.h−1 and the outlet gas temperature is above 2 500 K. At the beginning, graphite electrodes erosion by oxidizing medium was studied and controlling parameters were identified through parametric set of experiments and tuned for optimal electrodes life time. Then, a new 3-phase plasma torch design was modelled and simulated on ANSYS platform. The characteristics of the plasma flow and its interaction with the environing elements of the torch are detailed hereafter.
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Sabri Takali, Frédéric Fabry, Vandad-Julien Rohani, François Cauneau, Laurent Fulcheri. Development of a 100 kW plasma torch for plasma assisted combustion of low heating value fuels. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, IOP Publishing, 2014, 13th High-Tech Plasma Processes Conference (HTPP-2014) 22–27 June 2014, Toulouse, France, 550 (1), pp.Article number 012018. ⟨10.1088/1742-6596/550/1/012018⟩. ⟨hal-01116472⟩

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