Yule, A.J., Shrimpton, J.S., Watkins, A.P., Balachandran, W. and Hu, D.
Electrostatically atomized hydrocarbon sprays.
Fuel, 74, (7), . (doi:10.1016/0016-2361(95)00037-6).
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A burner using an electrostatic method to produce and control a fuel spray is investigated for non-burning sprays. The burner has a charge injection nozzle and the liquid flow rate and charge injection rate are varied using hydrocarbon liquids of differing viscosities, surface tensions and electrical conductivities (kerosene, white spirit and diesel oil). Droplet size distributions are measured and it is shown how the dropsize, spray pattern, breakup mechanism and breakup length depend on the above variables, and in particular on the specific charge achieved in the spray. The data are valuable for validating two computer models under development. One predicts the electric field and flow field inside the nozzle as a function of emitter potential, geometry and flow rate. The other predicts the effect of charge on spray dispersion, with a view to optimizing spray combustion. It is shown that electrostatic disruptive forces can be used to atomize oils at flow rates commensurate with practical combustion systems and that the charge injection technique is particularly suitable for highly resistive liquids. Possible limitations requiring further research include the need to control the wide spray angle, which may provide fuel-air mixtures too lean near the nozzle, and the need to design for maximum charge injection rate, which is thought to be limited by corona breakdown in the gas near the nozzle orifice.
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