National Combustor Code (NCC)–new software from NASA

Based on contacts made during the UFTO visit last year to NASA Lewis, we received an early notice about this soon-to-be announced Technology Opportunity. NASA has developed a major new combustion modeling code, and is looking for new areas that it can be applied. Private companies can submit problems. Terms and scope of an agreement would then be negotiated, giving the company a one year head start in evaluating the merits of seeking a commercial license.

(I have a full color acrobat pdf file of the notice that I can send you on request.)

April 15, 1998


It was a pleasure speaking with you today and thank you for agreeing to send your utility clients a copy of the attached NASA Technology Opportunity sheet which describes the National Combustion Code (NCC).

Please have interested clients contact me prior to contacting Nan-Suey Liu (NASA Lewis Combustion Branch ph: 216-433-8722). Nan-Suey is the NASA Lewis contact who will discuss technical features of the NCC with interested parties.

Please give me a call if you have any questions and thank you for your cooperation!

Dan DeMiglio
Great Lakes Industrial Technology Center
(Div of Battelle Memorial Institute)
NASA Midwest Regional Technology Transfer Center

—- text of the notice ———————————
Technology Opportunity National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lewis Research Center Turbomachinery TOP3-00093

A new software program – the National Combustor Code (NCC) – has been developed for aerospace and non-aerospace engineers and designers to enhance their understanding of physical and chemical processes which occur during continuous combustion. The NCC provides insight – for the first time – to the entire combustion process using a versatile and comprehensive set of tools. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) seeks to transfer this multidisciplinary combustor design system to U.S. companies for advanced liquid and gaseous continuous combustion applications. The NCC utilizes computer-aided design (CAD) tools for geometry creation, advanced mesh generators for creating solid model representations, a common framework for fluid flow and structural analyses, and powerful tools for post and parallel processing. The National Combustion Code: A Multidisciplinary Combustor Design System

Potential Commercial Uses

• Evaluate the performance of current liquid and gas combustion systems leading to product improvement.

• Optimize the design of future liquid and gas combustion systems leading to increased performance and reliability.

• Examples of relevant liquid and gas combustion systems are:
– Aviation gas turbine engines
– Industrial/ground power gas turbines
– Industrial combustion devices involving continuous burning of liquids and gaseous fuels
– Hazardous waste incinerators
– Steel treating furnaces
– Domestic gas fired appliances


• Product improvement for current combustion devices with respect to efficiency and durability
• Reduced time and costs for the design cycle of future combustion devices
• Optimized performance and reliability for future combustion devices

The Technology

The development of the National Combustion Code was pursued under a NASA/Department of Defense/ Department of Energy/U.S. industry partner-ship. Recent efforts have been focused on developing a computational combustion dynamics capability that meets combustor designer requirements for model accuracy and analysis turnaround time, incorporating both short–term and long–term technology goals. As a first step, a baseline solver for turbulent combustion flows was developed under a joint modeling and code development effort between the Aero-Industry and the NASA Lewis Research Center. This baseline solver is a Navier–Stokes flow solver based on an explicit four-stage Runge– Kutta scheme that uses unstructured meshes and runs on networked workstations. The solver can be linked to any computer-aided design system via the Patran file system. Turbulence closure is obtained via the standard k–e model with a high Reynolds number wall function. The following combustion models have been implemented into the code: finite– rate reduced kinetics for Jet–A and methane fuels, turbulence–chemistry interactions via an assumed probability density function for temperature fluctuations, and thermal emissions of nitrogen ox-ides. The solver can switch between a parallel virtual machine (PVM) interface and a message-passing interface (MPI) by using compiler flags. Its parallel performance on several platforms has been analyzed, and on the basis of the results, several improvements have been made. To date, the baseline solver has been used in the following applications: simulation of swirling flow experiments, computation of a generic swirling flow can combustor, computation of a multi-shear low NOx fuel nozzle and calculation of a multi-walled production fuel nozzle, and calculation of a flame holder/Cyclone 1-cup sector.

Options for Commercialization

The executables of the National Combustor Code, Beta Version 2.0, and the corresponding nonproprietary source code will be available for release to the non-aerospace industry by summer 1999. Beginning in the summer of 1998, NASA would be willing to demonstrate the accuracy and reliability of the NCC by applying it to a wide range of areas where it would be helpful to have accurate predictions of the combustor process.


Gynelle Steele, Technology Utilization Engineer
NASA Lewis Commercial Technology Office
NASA Lewis Research Center
Cleveland, OH 44135
Phone: (216) 433-8258 FAX: (216) 433-5012

Dan DeMiglio, Client Services
Great Lakes Industrial Technology Center
Phone: (440) 734-1209 (440) 734-0686

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