Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Combustion, Fuels, and Emissions

Characterization of Different Actuator Designs for the Control of the Precessing Vortex Core in a Swirl-Stabilized Combustor

[+] Author and Article Information
Finn Lückoff

Chair of Fluid Dynamics,
Technische Universität Berlin,
Müller-Breslau-Str. 8,
Berlin 10623, Germany
e-mail: finn.lueckoff@tu-berlin.de

Moritz Sieber, Christian Oliver Paschereit, Kilian Oberleithner

Chair of Fluid Dynamics,
Technische Universität Berlin,
Müller-Breslau-Str. 8,
Berlin 10623, Germany

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Combustion and Fuels Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 11, 2017; final manuscript received July 31, 2017; published online October 31, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 140(4), 041503 (Oct 31, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1340; doi: 10.1115/1.4038039 History: Received July 11, 2017; Revised July 31, 2017

The precessing vortex core (PVC) represents a helical-shaped coherent flow structure typically occurring in both reacting and nonreacting swirling flows. Until now, the fundamental impact of the PVC on flame dynamics, thermoacoustic instabilities, and pollutant emissions is still unclear. In order to identify and investigate these mechanisms, the PVC needs to be controlled effectively with a feedback control system. A previous study successfully applied feedback control in a generic swirling jet setup. The next step is to transfer this approach into a swirl-stabilized combustor, which poses big challenges on the actuator and sensor design and placement. In this paper, different actuator designs are investigated with the goal of controlling the PVC dynamics. The actuation strategy aims to force the flow near the origin of the instability—the so-called wavemaker. To monitor the PVC dynamics, arrays of pressure sensors are flush-mounted at the combustor inlet and the combustion chamber walls. The best sensor placement is evaluated with respect to the prediction of the PVC dynamics. Particle image velocimetry (PIV) is used to evaluate the passive impact of the actuator shape on the mean flow field. The performance of each actuator design is evaluated from lock-in experiments showing excellent control authority for two out of seven actuators. All measurements are conducted at isothermal conditions in a prototype of a swirl-stabilized combustor.

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Fig. 1

Three-dimensional visualization of a velocity field including a PVC from Ref. [2]. Reconstructed from particle image velocimetry (PIV) snapshots at Reynolds number Re = 20,000. Central streak-lines surrounding a helical streak-surface depict the PVC. Spiral vortices induced by helical waves can be seen in the outer shear layer. The internal recirculation zone in the center is shown as a pathline-surface surrounded by the PVC streak surface.

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Fig. 2

Test rig with PIV setup. Section ①: actuation unit with four loudspeakers and actuation channels; section ②: burner with swirl generator, mixing tube containing centerbody inside; section ③: quartz glass combustion chamber.

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Fig. 3

Different arrangements of pressure sensors in the front plate (left) and the mixing tube (right)

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Fig. 4

Complete view, detailed tip, and equivalent pictograph of all seven centerbody designs arranged one below the other. Arrows indicate the directions of actuating jets. Each design generates four individual jets.

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Fig. 5

Contours of the mean axial velocity component of shaped (left) and cylindrical (right) centerbody, Re = 16,000. Streamlines are derived from the mean axial and transverse velocity component. The bold lines indicate zero axial velocity.

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Fig. 6

SPOD results for shaped centerbody (lower row) and cylindrical centerbody (upper row). Each decomposition is represented by an SPOD spectrum (left) where a dot indicates a mode pair that is placed according to its energy and frequency. The size and shading of the dot indicate the spectral coherence of a mode pair. On the right side, the spatial structure Φ (upper row) and the power density spectrum of the coefficient a (lower row) are given for selected modes. The spatial mode is indicated by crosswise velocity plus streamlines of the mean flow.

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Fig. 7

Amplitudes Ap of the pressure coefficients p1̂ scaled with the maximum amplitude (left) and phase error variance between ai and p̂1 (right) for all considered sensor positions

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Fig. 8

Cμ (Re = 16,000) for actuator VII (left) and maximum Cμ for different actuator concepts (right). The Cμ estimated for the actuator IV is also valid for actuator III, indicated by the label “III/IV” on the left, since the only difference is the outer geometry which does not influence these measurements without flow.

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Fig. 10

Spectra of spatial Fourier modes (m = {0, 1, 2}) for different actuation amplitudes (compare Fig. 9): ff = 125 Hz, fn = 115 Hz, Δf = 8.7%, and Re = 19,000

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Fig. 9

Spectra of spatial Fourier modes (m = {0, 1, 2}) for different actuation amplitudes using the actuator design indicated by the small pictograph in the top-left corner. The spectra are deduced from the pressure sensors located at the combustor front plate. Forcing frequency ff = 112 Hz, which is at Δf = 18.5% relative to the natural PVC frequency of fn = 94.5 Hz at Re = 16,000.

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Fig. 11

Amplitude of the natural PVC mode (m = 1; shaped tip: fn = 94.5 Hz, flat tip: fn = 88 Hz) taken from power spectral density spectra over forcing amplitude (left), and amplitude of the actuated mode (m = 1; shaped tip: ff = 102 Hz, flat tip: ff = 95 Hz) depending on the forcing strength (right), Re = 16,000, Δf = 8%, compare Figs. 9 and 10




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