In order to reduce the computational cost of flame simulations, several methods have been developed during the last decades, which simplify the description of the reaction kinetics. Most of these methods are based on partial-equilibrium and steady-state assumptions, assuming that most chemical processes have a much smaller time scale than the flow time scale. These assumptions, however, give poor approximations in the ‘colder’ regions of a flame, where transport processes are also important. The method presented here, can be considered as a combination of two approaches to simplify flame calculations, i.e. a flamelet and a manifold approach. The method, to which we will refer as the Flamelet-Generated Manifold (FGM) method, shares the idea with flamelet approaches that a multi-dimensional flame may be considered as an ensemble of one-dimensional flames. The implementation, however, is typical for manifold methods: a low-dimensional manifold in composition space is constructed, and the thermo-chemical variables are stored in a database which can be used in subsequent flame simulations. In the FGM method a manifold is constructed using one-dimensional flamelets. Like in other manifold methods, the dimension of the manifold can be increased to satisfy a desired accuracy. Although the method can be applied to different kinds of flames, only laminar premixed flames are considered here. Since the major parts of convection and diffusion processes are present in one-dimensional flamelets, the FGM is more accurate in the ‘colder’ zones of premixed flames than methods based on local chemical equilibria. Therefore, less controlling variables are sufficient to represent the combustion process. Test results of one and two-dimensional premixed methane/air flames show that detailed computations are reproduced very well with a FGM consisting of only one progress variable apart from the enthalpy to account for energy losses.
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