A gas turbine model combustor for partially premixed swirl flames was equipped with an optical combustion chamber and operated with CH4 and air at atmospheric pressure. The burner consisted of two concentric nozzles for separately controlled air flows and a ring of holes 12 mm upstream of the nozzle exits for fuel injection. The flame described here had a thermal power of 25 kW, a global equivalence ratio of 0.7, and exhibited thermo-acoustic instabilities at a frequency of approximately 400 Hz. The phase-dependent variations in the flame shape and relative heat release rate were determined by OH* chemiluminescence imaging; the flow velocities by stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (PIV); and the major species concentrations, mixture fraction, and temperature by laser Raman scattering. The PIV measurements showed that the flow field performed a “pumping” mode with varying inflow velocities and extent of the inner recirculation zone, triggered by the pressure variations in the combustion chamber. The flow field oscillations were accompanied by variations in the mixture fraction in the inflow region and at the flame root, which in turn were mainly caused by the variations in the CH4 concentration. The mean phase-dependent changes in the fluxes of CH4 and N2 through cross-sectional planes of the combustion chamber at different heights above the nozzle were estimated by combining the PIV and Raman data. The results revealed a periodic variation in the CH4 flux by more than 150 % in relation to the mean value, due to the combined influence of the oscillating flow velocity, density variations, and CH4 concentration. Based on the experimental results, the feedback mechanism of the thermo-acoustic pulsations could be identified as a periodic fluctuation of the equivalence ratio and fuel mass flow together with a convective delay for the transport of fuel from the fuel injector to the flame zone. The combustor and the measured data are well suited for the validation of numerical combustion simulations.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 18, 2015
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