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Publication numberUS20060156733 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/034,838
Publication dateJul 20, 2006
Filing dateJan 14, 2005
Priority dateJan 14, 2005
Also published asCA2593917A1, CA2593917C, DE602006001875D1, EP1688669A1, EP1688669B1, US7937926, US8276387, US20090084108, US20110120142, US20110173982, WO2006074552A1
Publication number034838, 11034838, US 2006/0156733 A1, US 2006/156733 A1, US 20060156733 A1, US 20060156733A1, US 2006156733 A1, US 2006156733A1, US-A1-20060156733, US-A1-2006156733, US2006/0156733A1, US2006/156733A1, US20060156733 A1, US20060156733A1, US2006156733 A1, US2006156733A1
InventorsLev Prociw, Harris Shafique
Original AssigneePratt & Whitney Canada Corp.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Integral heater for fuel conveying member
US 20060156733 A1
Abstract
A fuel conveying member for an engine, the fuel conveying member having heating means integrated therein to permit pyrolysis of carbonaceous deposits.
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Claims(19)
1. A fuel conveying member in a gas turbine engine comprising a heating device disposed within said fuel conveying member, said heating device being operable to heat said fuel flow passage to a temperature sufficiently high to permit pyrolysis of carbonaceous deposits in the fuel conveying member.
2. The fuel conveying member as defined in claim 1, wherein said fuel conveying member includes at least one of a fuel manifold and a fuel nozzle.
3. The fuel conveying member as defined in claim 1, wherein said heating device is integrally disposed within said fuel conveying member.
4. The fuel conveying member as defined in claim 3, wherein said heating device is a heating element disposed within at least one of said wall portions.
5. The fuel conveying member as defined in claim 4, wherein said heating element is disposed in a heat conducting capsule embedded in said wall portion, said heat conducting capsule allowing substantially uniform heat distribution throughout said fuel conveying member.
6. The fuel conveying member as defined in claim 5, wherein said heat conducting capsule comprises a soft metallic material.
7. The fuel conveying member as defined in claim 1, wherein said heating device includes at least one electrically conducting filament embedded within at least one wall portion of said fuel conveying member.
8. The fuel conveying member as defined in claim 7, said heating device further comprising an electrical terminal accessible from outside of said fuel conveying member, said electrical terminal being in electrical communication with said electrically conducting filament and adapted to be interconnected with an electrical power supply.
9. The fuel conveying member as defined in claim 2, wherein said fuel conveying member comprises an annular fuel manifold, said fuel flow passage being annular and defined principally within said annular fuel manifold.
10. The fuel conveying member as defined in claim 9, wherein a plurality of fuel nozzles extend from said annular fuel manifold, said fuel nozzles being in fluid flow communication with said fuel flow passage.
11. A method of cleaning a fuel conveying member in situ within a gas turbine engine, the method comprising the steps of: heating at least said fuel flow passage of said fuel conveying member by activating a heating device disposed within said fuel conveying member to pyrolyze carbonaceous deposits within at least one fuel flow passage extending through the fuel conveying member; and removing the pyrolyzed deposits.
12. The method as defined in claim 11, wherein said step of activating includes connecting said heating device to an external supply and activating said external supply.
13. The method as defined in claim 11, wherein the step of removing comprises directing a flow of air through said fuel flow passage while heating at least said fuel flow passage.
14. The method as defined in claim 13, wherein the air is directed through a fuel inlet of the fuel conveying member.
15. The method as defined in claim 13, further comprising the step of enriching said flow of air with oxygen prior to the step of directing.
16. The method as defined in claim 11, further comprising actuating said heating device from outside of said gas turbine engine.
17. The method as defined in claim 11, further comprising performing said heating with said gas turbine engine in place on an aircraft.
18. A gas turbine engine including a compressor, a combustor and a turbine, comprising: a fuel manifold; and heating means disposed within said fuel manifold for heating said fuel flow passage to a pyrolysis temperature of carbonaceous deposits in said fuel flow passage.
19. The gas turbine engine of claim 18, further comprising deposit removal means for removing the pyrolyzed carbonaceous deposits from the fuel manifold.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates generally to a fuel conveying member in a gas turbine engine.

BACKGROUND OF THE ART

Fuel conveying passages, conduits, manifolds and the like employed in gas turbine engines tend to gradually accumulate a build up of carbon or coke. Cleaning fuel passages requires chemical solvents or pyrolysis (heating and pressurizing with air). While such pyrolytic cleaning processes are generally effective they are often not easily accomplished. U.S. Pat. No. 4,377,420 to Granatek et al. discloses an apparatus which is quite large and expensive. Further, in order to heat up a relatively large component, such as the intermediate turbine case 20 depicted by Granatek et al. for example, the enclosed furnace 34 must be large.

Accordingly, there is a need to provide an improved method and structure for cleaning fuel conveying members of a gas turbine engine.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of this invention to provide an improved gas turbine engine fuel conveying member.

In one aspect, the present invention provides a fuel conveying member in a gas turbine engine comprising a heating device disposed within said fuel conveying member, said heating device being operable to heat said fuel flow passage to a temperature sufficiently high to permit pyrolysis of carbonaceous deposits in the fuel conveying member.

In a second aspect, the present invention provides a method of cleaning a fuel conveying member in situ within a gas turbine engine, the method comprising the steps of: heating at least said fuel flow passage of said fuel conveying member by activating a heating device disposed within said fuel conveying member to pyrolyze carbonaceous deposits within at least one fuel flow passage extending through the fuel conveying member; and removing the pyrolyzed deposits.

In a third aspect, the present invention provides a gas turbine engine including a compressor, a combustor and a turbine, comprising: a fuel manifold; and heating means disposed within said fuel manifold for heating said fuel flow passage to a pyrolysis temperature of carbonaceous deposits in said fuel flow passage.

Further details of these and other aspects of the present invention will be apparent from the detailed description and figures included below.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference is now made to the accompanying figures depicting aspects of the present invention, in which:

FIG. 1 is schematic cross-sectional view of a gas turbine engine;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a fuel manifold in accordance with the present invention, for use in a gas turbine engine such as that depicted in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the fuel manifold of FIG. 2, taken through line 3-3 thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 illustrates a gas turbine engine 10 of a type preferably provided for use in subsonic flight, generally comprising in serial flow communication a fan 12 through which ambient air is propelled, a multistage compressor 14 for pressurizing the air, a combustor 16 in which the compressed air is mixed with fuel and ignited for generating an annular stream of hot combustion gases, and a turbine section 18 for extracting energy from the combustion gases.

Fuel is injected into the combustor 16 of the gas turbine engine 10 by a fuel injection system 20 which is connected in fluid flow communication with a fuel source (not shown) and is operable to inject fuel into the combustor 16 for mixing with the compressed air from the compressor 14 and ignition of the resultant mixture. The fan 12, compressor 14, combustor 16, and turbine 18 are preferably all concentric about a common central longitudinal axis 11 of the gas turbine engine 10.

Referring to FIG. 2, the fuel injection system 20 includes at least one fuel conveying member through which fuel flows. In the exemplary embodiment, the fuel injection system includes an annular fuel manifold ring 22 which is mounted adjacent to the combustor 16 in the gas turbine engine 10. The fuel manifold ring 22 is preferably mounted to the combustor 16 or to surrounding support structure via several integral attachment lugs 24 which receive pins (not shown) engaged to the support structure. This provides a mounting mechanism which allows for thermal expansion of the fuel manifold ring 22 at high temperatures. A plurality of fuel injecting nozzle assemblies 26 are provided about the circumference of the fuel manifold ring 22. The fuel nozzle assemblies 26 atomize the fuel as it is injected into the combustor for ignition when mixed with the compressed air therein. Fuel enters the annular fuel manifold ring 22 via fuel inlet 30, and is distributed within the manifold ring 22 such that fuel flow is provided to each of the fuel nozzles assemblies. Both the fuel manifold ring 22 and the fuel injecting nozzle assemblies 26 comprise fuel conveying members, within which a heating device in accordance with the present invention is preferably provided, as will be discussed in further detail below.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the interior construction of one embodiment of the fuel manifold ring 22 and a fuel nozzle assembly 26 of the fuel injection system 20 is depicted. Particularly, the fuel nozzle assembly 26 projects axially (relative to the central longitudinal axis 11 of the gas turbine engine 10) outwardly from fuel manifold ring 22, and includes a central body 31 from which air swirler vanes 32 project about a central spray tip opening 33 defined in the central body 31 and through which the fuel exits the fuel nozzle assembly 26. An inner fuel nozzle portion 36 defines a central fuel channel 35 therethrough, which extends between a fuel source passage 40 and the spray tip opening 33. The inner fuel nozzle portion 36 is preferably engaged with the surrounding central body 31 of the nozzle assembly by a local braze attachment which provides a seal therebetween. A fuel swirler 34 is also preferably provided within the central fuel channel 35 of the inner fuel nozzle portion 36. The fuel flow passage 40 is defined within interior walls 41 thereof, and preferably defines an annular passage provided within the fuel manifold ring 22, however it is to be understood that the fuel flow passage could be provided separately in each fuel nozzle assembly 26 rather than extending throughout a common manifold. However, a common manifold renders the present invention more viable, as only a single fuel conveying area need be heated, as will be described in greater detail below. The central body 31 includes a rear body portion 38 which projects into the fuel manifold ring 22 and at least partially defines the fuel source passage 40 therewithin. A rear sealing plate 42 is fastened to the rear walls of the rear body portion 38 at the open end thereof, thereby enclosing the fuel flow passage 40 of the manifold. Preferably, the rear sealing plate 42 is brazed in place about the full circumference of the manifold ring. The exterior of the annular fuel manifold ring 22 comprises an outer heat shield 23 which covers the ring. This provides the fuel manifold ring 22 with thermal protection from the high temperature environment of the combustion chamber.

The fuel conveying members such as the fuel nozzles and the fuel manifold are further provided with at least one heating means such as the heating device 50 disposed in heat conducting communication with a fuel flow passage, such as the manifold fuel passage 40 for example, in at least one of the fuel conveying members such as the fuel nozzles 26 and the fuel manifold 22. The heating device 50 is operable to heat up the fuel flow passages to a temperature which is sufficiently high to allow for pyrolysis of any carbon-based deposits which may have accumulated with the fuel flow passages. Such carbon-based deposits can include carbon or coke which tends build up on passage walls over time and eventually partially clog the flow of fuel therethrough. By heating up the preferably metallic fuel conveying passages to a high enough temperature to permit expansion thereof, any adhesion of the carbon and the wall surfaces of the passage is broken as a result of a thermal growth mismatch between the carbon and the metallic wall surfaces, thus loosening the carbon deposits. Thus, the fuel conveying member can be so cleaned in situ, using the integral heating device 50, without necessarily requiring complete removal of the entire part for insertion into a large oven, or the like. Cleaning of the fuel conveying member is therefore possible in situ within the engine, and even “on the wing” if required (i.e. without requiring removal of the engine from the aircraft).

Preferably, once the fuel flow passages of the fuel conveying members have been heated as described using the integrally provided heating device 50, pressurised air is subsequently fed through the fuel flow passages. Preferably, the pressurized air is fed into the fuel flow passages of the fuel manifold via the, fuel inlet 30, which is disconnected from the rest of the fuel system prior to conducting the present pyrolytic cleaning process. However, it remains possible to introduce the pressurized air into the fuel flow passages of the particularly fuel conveying member via another suitable inlet port. The presence of flowing air, and more particularly oxygen in the air, helps to pyrolize the dislodged carbonaceous deposits, forming generally carbon monoxide and/or carbon dioxide. Thus pressurized air/oxygen forced through the passages provides a deposit removal means which further improves the pyrolysis of the carbonaceous deposits, as does enriching the air with oxygen. Although the fuel flow passages can be cleaned using only the heating device 50, best results are achieved with pressurized air is also used, reducing the overall time required to perform such a maintenance procedure.

Referring back to FIG. 3 in more detail, the heating device 50 is preferably integrated within the fuel manifold ring 22, and more particularly embedded within the rear sealing plate 42 of the manifold ring. The heating device 50 is preferably contained within a heat conducting capsule 46, composed of a relatively soft conductive material such as aluminum, for example. The capsule 46 is disposed within a corresponding cavity 45 defined within the sealing plate 42, and remains in direct contact with the sealing plate 42 when disposed in the cavity 45. The encapsulation material of capsule 46 provides a substantially uniform heat distribution from the heating device 50 as it spreads, largely by conduction, to the rest of the fuel manifold 22 and the fuel nozzle assembly 26. The heating device 50 preferably comprises an electrical resistance heating element 52, such as an electric ally conductive filament for example, which radiates heat when electricity is passed therethrough. Other types of integral heating devices can also be used, such as induction, fluidic, pneumatic, etc., however an electrical heating element is preferred for ease of operation. The electrical heating element 52 is preferably led out through the fuel inlet and terminates with electrical connectors or terminals (not shown), such that the electrical heating element 52 can be engaged to a suitable power supply, such as a battery or a DC power supply for example, to energize the electrical element of the heating device.

When cleaning the fuel flow passages using the heating device 50, any rubber sealing rings, or any other materials which may degrade by heat, are preferably removed prior to initiating the heating of the fuel passages by the heating device 50. If such a fuel flow passage cleaning is being performed directly in situ in the engine's operating environment, such as when still installed “on the wing” in the case of an airborne gas turbine engine, then the fuel inlet would also typically be disconnected from the fuel source prior to heating the fuel conveying members. The pressurized air used to help pyrolize the carbonaceous deposits may be provided by a portable supply or a suitable alternate pressurized air source, which is preferably engaged in fluid flow communication with the fuel inlet 30 of the manifold to inject pressurized air into the fuel manifold. It remains possible, however, to introduce the pressurized air into the fuel flow passage via another suitable inlet port.

External insulation is also preferably provided about at least part of the fuel conveying members, such that the amount of wasted power is reduced. As such, an insulator is provided about at least the central body 31 of the fuel manifold ring 22. Particularly, an insulating air cavity 54 surrounds the rear body walls 38 and the sealing plate 42, within which the fuel flow passage 40 is defined, and within the outer heat shield 23 of the fuel manifold ring 22. Further insulation may also be provided outside the heat shield 23, such that most of the heat generated by the heating device 50 is directed to the fuel flow passage 40 for pyrolysis.

The above description is meant to be exemplary only, and one skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made to the embodiments described without department from the scope of the invention disclosed. For example, alternate configurations of fuel conveying members such as fuel manifolds and fuel nozzles can be used. Further, it is to be understood that the heating device could be integrated directly into the wall section without any intermediate material therebetween, or may have any other suitable configuration. Multiple heating devices may be employed, of same or different types and configurations. Although described with respect to airborne gas turbines, the invention may be applied to any suitable engine in a suitable application. Still other modifications which fall within the scope of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art, in light of a review of this disclosure, and such modifications are intended to fall within the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7530231 *Apr 1, 2005May 12, 2009Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Fuel conveying member with heat pipe
US7559142Oct 24, 2006Jul 14, 2009Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Method of manufacturing a heat shield for a fuel manifold
US7565807Jan 18, 2005Jul 28, 2009Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Heat shield for a fuel manifold and method
US7654088 *Feb 27, 2004Feb 2, 2010Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Dual conduit fuel manifold for gas turbine engine
US7716933Oct 4, 2006May 18, 2010Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Multi-channel fuel manifold
US7765808Aug 22, 2006Aug 3, 2010Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Optimized internal manifold heat shield attachment
US7856825May 16, 2007Dec 28, 2010Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Redundant mounting system for an internal fuel manifold
US7937926Sep 12, 2008May 10, 2011Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Integral heater for fuel conveying member
US7958721Jun 29, 2007Jun 14, 2011Caterpillar Inc.Regeneration system having integral purge and ignition device
US8006482Nov 7, 2007Aug 30, 2011Caterpillar Inc.Method of purging fluid injector by heating
US8033113May 15, 2007Oct 11, 2011Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Fuel injection system for a gas turbine engine
US8051664Jul 23, 2007Nov 8, 2011Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Pre-loaded internal fuel manifold support
US8171738Oct 24, 2006May 8, 2012Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Gas turbine internal manifold mounting arrangement
US8215100Feb 27, 2008Jul 10, 2012Caterpillar Inc.Regeneration device having external check valve
US8276387Feb 4, 2011Oct 2, 2012Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Gas turbine engine fuel conveying member
US8281570Aug 9, 2007Oct 9, 2012Caterpillar Inc.Reducing agent injector having purge heater
US8484947Nov 7, 2007Jul 16, 2013Caterpillar Inc.Fluid injector having purge heater
US8499739Aug 31, 2006Aug 6, 2013Caterpillar Inc.Injector having tangentially oriented purge line
US8572976Oct 4, 2006Nov 5, 2013Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.Reduced stress internal manifold heat shield attachment
Classifications
U.S. Classification60/776, 60/736
International ClassificationF02C7/22
Cooperative ClassificationF02C7/222, F23D11/44, F02C7/224
European ClassificationF23D11/44, F02C7/22C, F02C7/224
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 14, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: PRATT & WHITNEY CANADA CORP., CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PROCIW, LEV ALEXANDER;SHAFIQUE, HARRIS;REEL/FRAME:016178/0085
Effective date: 20050111