TECHNICAL PAPERS: Gas Turbines: Combustion and Fuels

Open-Loop Active Control of Combustion Dynamics on a Gas Turbine Engine

[+] Author and Article Information
Geo. A. Richards, Jimmy D. Thornton

 U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Morgantown, WV 26505

Edward H. Robey

 U.S. Department of Energy, Parsons Project Services, Morgantown, WV 26505

Leonell Arellano

 Solar Turbines, Inc., 2200 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 129(1), 38-48 (Mar 16, 2006) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2204978 History: Received March 11, 2005; Revised March 16, 2006

Combustion dynamics is a prominent problem in the design and operation of low-emission gas turbine engines. Even modest changes in fuel composition or operating conditions can lead to damaging vibrations in a combustor that was otherwise stable. For this reason, active control has been sought to stabilize combustors that must accommodate fuel variability, new operating conditions, etc. Active control of combustion dynamics has been demonstrated in a number of laboratories, single-nozzle test combustors, and even on a fielded engine. In most of these tests, active control was implemented with closed-loop feedback between the observed pressure signal and the phase and gain of imposed fuel perturbations. In contrast, a number of recent papers have shown that open-loop fuel perturbations can disrupt the feedback between acoustics and heat release that drives the oscillation. Compared to the closed-loop case, this approach has some advantages because it may not require high-fidelity fuel actuators, and could be easier to implement. This paper reports experimental tests of open-loop fuel perturbations to control combustion dynamics in a complete gas turbine engine. Results demonstrate the technique was very successful on the test engine and had minimal effect on pollutant emissions.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of instability regions showing how fuel modulation can affect instability: (a) double-sided instability and (b) single-sided instability

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Figure 2

Schematic of fuel modulation on two injectors, nozzles A and B

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Figure 3

Schematic of the fuel injector and hardware used to generate and quantify pulses in the single-injector combustion rig

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Figure 4

Schematic of combustor used for single-injector test of fuel modulation

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Figure 5

History of various signals at conditions indicated in Table 1. This is the baseline, without fuel modulation (pressures in pounds per square inch).

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Figure 6

History of various signals at conditions with fuel modulation. Same operating conditions as in Fig. 5, (pressures in pounds per square inch).

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Figure 7

History of signals at conditions (Table 1) where fuel modulation had little effect on the oscillation (pressures in pounds per square inch)

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Figure 8

History of signals at conditions (Table 1) where the flame anchoring was disrupted by the control action

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Figure 9

Cross section of the engine combustor annulus. The fuel injector and pressure transducer (PT) numbering scheme is shown.

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Figure 11

Rms pressure (% of combustor pressure) and normalized emissions at the baseline condition, and with fuel modulation at various frequencies

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Figure 12

(a) Baseline dynamics at conditions of Fig. 1. Note the solenoid trigger signals are not active. (b) Observed dynamics with odd-even fuel modulation activated at 40Hz. Note the odd-even activation of solenoid triggers 2 versus 3.

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Figure 14

Effect of fuel modulation on pollutant emissions when the engine conditions produce stable (nonoscillating) combustion

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Figure 10

Schematic of test cell and instrumentation layout

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Figure 13

Rms pressure and emissions for steady solenoid valve opening on odd-numbered injectors. The labels are inclusive (i.e.; injectors 1–7=1, 3, 5, 7, etc.).




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