A laboratory scale experimental facility which models a Pulsed Atmospheric Fluidized Bed Combustor (PAFBC) has been developed; this facility is designed to examine the effect of an opposing secondary flow having an oscillatory component on a bubbling fluidized bed. The secondary flow is oriented in a vertical direction. The secondary flow is introduced into the bubbling bed through a tailpipe that extends through the bed and ends just above the porous polyethylene distributor. A pulsed flow simulator that employs a small displacement of a relatively large piston with variable drive radius and speed provides the oscillatory component of the secondary flow. The fluidized bed test section has a cross-sectional flow area of 30.5 by 30.5 cm with a height of 53 cm. Heat exchanger surfaces are modeled by two symmetric horizontal cylinders housed in the test section. The following test parameters are controlled: the primary flow rate, the mean secondary flow rate, the pulsation frequency and the amplitude of the secondary flow. Pressure taps are located just above the distributor and in the freeboard region to measure overall bed pressure drop. The facility is operated with a range of particles from 345 μm to 715 μm and a range of superficial fluidization velocities corresponding to the bubble flow regime.
Fluidization curves were generated for traditional fluidization, using the primary flow through the porous distributor, with both primary and a steady secondary flow, and with primary and a pulsed secondary flow. Significant departures from the linear Darcy flow curves in the fixed bed region were observed, and attributed to significant local fluidization. Time resolved measurements of the overall bed pressure drop clearly indicate phase-locking behavior of the overall bed pressure drop with imposed frequency. Bubbles formed in pulse-stabilized fluidization are significantly smaller than in traditional fluidization, as observed through video recording of the present bed.