Watanabe, Hirotatsu; Shanbhogue, Santosh J.; Ghoniem, Ahmed F.(Volume 4B: Combustion, Fuels and Emissions, ASME International, 2015-06-15)[Conference Paper]
Premixed CH4/O2/CO2 flames (oxy-flames) and CH4/air flames (air-flames) were experimentally studied in a swirl-stabilized combustor. For comparing oxy and air flames, the same equivalence ratio and adiabatic flame temperature were used. CO2 dilution was adjusted to attain the same adiabatic temperature for the oxy-flame and the corresponding air-flame while keeping the equivalence ratio and Reynolds number (=20,000) the same. For high equivalence ratios, we observed flames stabilized along the inner and outer shear layers of the swirling flow and sudden expansion, respectively, in both flames. However, one notable difference between the two flames appears as the equivalence ratio reaches 0.60. At this point, the outer shear layer flame disappears in the air-flame while it persists in the oxy-flame, despite the lower burning velocity of the oxy-flame. Prior PIV measurements (Ref. 9) showed that the strains along the outer shear layer are higher than along the inner shear layer. Therefore, the extinction strain rates in both flames were calculated using a counter-flow premixed twin flame configuration. Calculations at the equivalence ratio of 0.60 show that the extinction strain rate is higher in the oxy than in the air flame, which help explain why it persists on the outer shear layer with higher strain rate. It is likely that extinction strain rates contribute to the oxy-flame stabilization when air flame extinguish in the outer shear layer. However, the trend reverses at higher equivalence ratio, and the cross point of the extinction strain rate appears at equivalence ratio of 0.64.
Taamallah, Soufien; LaBry, Zachary A.; Shanbhogue, Santosh J.; Ghoniem, Ahmed F.(Volume 4B: Combustion, Fuels and Emissions, ASME International, 2014-06-16)[Conference Paper]
In this paper, we conduct an experimental investigation of a confined premixed swirl-stabilized dump combustor similar to those found in modern gas turbines. We operate the combustor with premixed methane-air in the lean range of equivalence ratio ϕ ∈ [0.5–0.75]. First, we observe different dynamic modes in the lean operating range, as the equivalence ratio is raised, confirming observations made previously in a similar combustor geometry but with a different fuel . Next we examine the correspondence between dynamic mode transitions and changes in the mean flame configuration or macrostructure. We show that each dynamic mode is associated with a specific flame macrostructure. By modifying the combustor length without changing the underlying flow, the resonant frequencies of the geometry are altered allowing for decoupling the heat release fluctuations and the acoustic field, in a certain range of equivalence ratio. Mean flame configurations in the modified (short) combustor and for the same range of equivalence ratio are examined. It is found that not only the same sequence of flame configurations is observed in both combustors (long and short) but also that the set of equivalence ratio where transitions in the flame configuration occur is closely related to the onset of thermo-acoustic instabilities. For both combustor lengths, the flame structure changes at similar equivalence ratio whether thermo-acoustic coupling is allowed or not, suggesting that the flame configuration holds the key to understanding the onset of self-excited thermo-acoustic instability in this range. Finally, we focus on the flame configuration transition that was correlated with the onset of the first dynamically unstable mode ϕ ∈ [0.61–0.64]. Our analysis of this transition in the short, uncoupled combustor shows that it is associated with an intermittent appearance of a flame in the outer recirculation zone (ORZ). The spectral analysis of this “ORZ flame flickering” — based on flame chemiluminescence data — shows the presence of unsteady events occurring at two distinct frequency ranges. A broad band at low frequency in the range ∼[1 Hz – 10 Hz] and a narrow band centered around 28 Hz.
The prediction of dynamic instability remains an open and important issue in the development of gas turbine systems, particularly those constrained by emissions limitations. The existence and characteristics of dynamic instability are known to be functions of combustor geometry, flow conditions, and combustion parameters, but the form of dependence is not well understood. By modifying the acoustic boundary conditions, changes in flame and flow structure due to inlet parameters can be studied independent of the acoustic modes with which they couple. This paper examines the effect of equivalence ratio on the flame macrostructure — the relationship between the turbulent flame brush and the dominant flow structures — in an acoustically uncoupled environment. The flame brush is measured using CH* chemiluminescence, and the flow is interrogated using two-dimensional particle image velocimetry. We examine a range of equivalence ratios spanning three distinct macrostructures. The first macrostructure (ϕ = 0.550) is characterized by a diffuse flame brush confined to the interior of the inner recirculation zone. We observe a conical flame in the inner shear layer, continuing along the wall shear layer in the second macrostructure (ϕ = 0.600). The third macrostructure exhibits the same flame brush as the second, with an additional flame brush in the outer shear layer (ϕ = 0.650). Between the second and third macrostructures, we observe a regime in which the flame brush transitions intermittently between the two structures. We use dynamic mode decomposition on the PIV data to show that this transition event, which we call flickering, is linked to vorticity generated by the intermittent expansion of the outer recirculation zone as the flame jumps in and out of the outer shear layer. In a companion paper, we show how the macrostructures described in this paper are linked with dynamic instability .
Kewlani, Gaurav; Labry, Zachary; Abani, Neerav; Shanbhogue, Santosh; Ghoniem, Ahmed(50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), 2012-01-09)[Conference Paper]
Speth, Ray; Hong, Seung Hyuck; Shanbogue, Santosh; Ghoniem, Ahmed(49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), 2011-01-04)[Conference Paper]
In this paper, we investigate flame-vortex interaction in a lean premixed, laboratory scale, backward-facing step combustor. Two series of tests were conducted, using
propane/hydrogen mixtures and carbon monoxide/hydrogen mixtures as fuels, respectively. Pressure measurements and high speed particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) were
employed to generate pressure response curves as well as the images of the velocity field and the flame brush. We demonstrate that the step combustor exhibits several operating modes depending on the inlet conditions and fuel composition, characterized by the amplitude and frequency of pressure oscillations along with distinct dynamic flame shapes. We propose a model in which the combustor's selection of the acoustic mode is governed by a combustion-related time delay inversely proportional to the flame speed. Our model predicts the transition between distinct operating modes. We introduce non-dimensional parameters characterizing the flame speed and stretch rate, and develop a relationship between these quantities at the operating conditions corresponding to each mode transition. Based on this relationship, we show that numerically-calculated density-weighted strained flame speed can be used to collapse the combustion dynamics data over the full range of conditions (inlet temperature, fuel composition, and equivalence ratio). Finally, we validate our strain flame based model by measuring the strain rate using the flame image and the velocity field from the PIV measurement. Our results show that the measured strain rates lie in the same range as the critical values at the transitions among distinct modes as those predicted by our model.
LaBry, Zachary; Shanbhogue, Santosh; Ghoniem, Ahmed(49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), 2011-01-04)[Conference Paper]
Combustion dynamics remain a challenge in the development of low-emission, air-breathing combustors for power generation and aircraft propulsion. In this paper, we presenta parametric study on the use of microjet injectors for suppressing or mitigating the combustion dynamics that energize the thermoacoustic instability in a swirl-stabilized, premixed combustor. Microjet injectors consist of small inlet ports intended to inject flow with high momentum at relatively low mass flow rates into the flame-anchoring region. The microjets were configured to inject flow either axially, into the outer recirculation zone, or radially into the inner recirculation zone. Additionally, different injectors were tested with different relative senses of swirl (signs of angular momentum)with respect to the main flow: co-swirling, not swirling, or counter-swirling. We observed that injecting air or premixed fuel/air into the inner recirculation zone via counter-swirling radial microjets, we were able to reduce the overall sound pressure level in the combustor by over 20 dB in the lean end of the operating range. Other injector configurations were not observed to positively influence
the combust or stability. Detailed PIV measurements are used to examine possible mechanisms of how the microjets impact the combustion dynamics, and the technology implications of our experiments are discussed.
LaBry, Zachary; Shanbhogue, Santosh; Speth, Raymond; Ghoniem, Ahmed(48th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), 2010-01-04)[Conference Paper]
In this study, we examine the effectiveness of microjet air injection as a means of
suppressing thermoacoustic instabilities in a swirl-stabilized, lean-premixed propane/air
combustor. High-speed stereo PIV measurements, taken to explore the mechanism of
combustion instability, reveal that the inner recirculation zone plays a dominant role in the
coupling of acoustics and heat release that leads to combustion instability. Six microjet
injector configurations were designed to modify the inner and outer recirculation zones with
the intent of decoupling the mechanism leading to instability. Microjets that injected air into
the inner recirculation zone, swirling in the opposite sense to the primary swirl were
effective in suppressing combustion instability, reducing the overall sound pressure level by
up to 17 dB within a certain window of operating conditions. Stabilization was achieved near
an equivalence ratio of 0.65, corresponding to the region where the combustor transitions
from a 40 Hz instability mode to a 110 Hz instability mode. PIV measurements made of the
stabilized flow revealed significant modification of the inner recirculation zone and
substantial weakening of the outer recirculation zone.
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