, Volume 75, Issue 1-4, pp 275-292

Laser Diagnostic Study of the Mechanism of a Periodic Combustion Instability in a Gas Turbine Model Combustor

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To investigate the mechanisms leading to sustained thermoacoustic oscillations in swirl flames, a gas turbine model combustor was equipped with an optically accessible combustion chamber allowing the application of various laser techniques. The flame investigated was a swirled CH4/air diffusion flame (thermal power 10 kW, global equivalence ratio φ = 0.75) at atmospheric pressure which exhibited self-excited thermoacoustic oscillations at a frequency of 290 Hz. In separate experiments, the flow velocities were measured by laser Doppler velocimetry, the flame structures and heat release rates by planar laser-induced fluorescence of CH and by OH chemiluminescence, and the joint probability density functions of the major species concentrations, mixture fraction, and temperature by laser Raman scattering. All measurements were performed in a phase-locked mode, i.e., triggered with respect to the oscillating pressure level measured by a microphone. The results revealed large periodic variations of all measured quantities and showed that the heat release rate was correlated with the degree of mixing of hot products with unburned fuel/air mixtures before ignition. The thermal expansion of the reacting gases had, in turn, a strong influence on the flow field and induced a periodic motion of the inner and outer recirculation zones. The combination of all results yielded a deeper understanding of the events sustaining the oscillations in the flame under investigation. The results also represent a data base that can be used for the validation and improvement of CFD codes.