Disclosed is a mechanical swirler for generating diverging flow in lean premixed fuel burners. The swirler of the present invention includes a central passage with an entrance for accepting a feed gas, a flow balancing insert that introduces additional pressure drop beyond that occurring in the central passage in the absence of the flow balancing insert, and an exit aligned to direct the feed gas into a combustor. The swirler also has an annular passage about the central passage and including one or more vanes oriented to impart angular momentum to feed gas exiting the annular passage. The diverging flow generated by the swirler stabilizes lean combustion thus allowing for lower production of pollutants, particularly oxides of nitrogen.
This invention was made in the course of or under prime contract number DE-AC03-76SF00098 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California. The government has certain rights in this invention.