Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Swirl Induced Self-Excited Instabilities at the Vicinity of an Airblast Nozzle



We report on the experimental and numerical investigation of swirl induced self-excited instabilities in the form of precessing helical structures at the vicinity of an Airblast Atomiser. Within the scope of this work, the increase of the knowledge of the fundamental factors governing the precessing vortex core phenomenon (PVC) (Gupta et al. 1984) by applying dual air-flow Airblast nozzles is aimed. This study concentrates on the experimental investigation of the impact of important parameters of a combustor system on the performance characteristics of this instability. In particular, in terms of this work the properties of the PVC are determined by applying two different Airblast Atomisers, one of them producing an attached swirl flame, and another producing a lifted swirl flame. Measurements are also performed for a confined and a non confined flame, aiming to determine the impact of the confining duct on the performance of the PVC. In order to gain some further knowledge, regarding the impact of this aerodynamic instability on combustion of gaseous fuel, the features of PVC are experimentally identified under reacting conditions, by employing a laser light sheet (LLS) measurement technique. By applying the LLS measurement technique, further investigation on the nature of the PVC is also attempted. The power spectral density (PSD) function of the flow field was determined on the basis of raw data provided by 3D Laser Doppler Anemometry (3D-LDA). In order to validate the measurement technique as well as the nature of the instability, the planar Mie-Scattering of the flow was evaluated by employing a high speed camera performing at 12 kHz. The precessing character of the flow was also confirmed by means of a numerical simulation using the 3D Reynolds Stress Model (3D-RSM). The results of the numerical investigation provided some useful information concerning the onset of the instability within the primary swirler as well as its size and amplitude. According to this analysis, a high frequency instability was confirmed within a region of about one burner diameter downstream of the burner exit. Finally an evaluation of the (LDA) method in terms of providing accurate (PSD) was performed for the case of a swirl flow field.


Precessing vortex core (PVC) Swirl flows Airblast Atomiser Single helix structure High frequency instability Self excited aerodynamic instability 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Engler-Bunte-InstituteUniversity of Karlsruhe (TH)KarlsruheGermany

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