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Research Papers

Flame Edge Dynamics and Interaction in a Multinozzle Can Combustor With Fuel Staging

[+] Author and Article Information
Daniel Doleiden, Wyatt Culler

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802

Ankit Tyagi, Stephen Peluso, Jacqueline O'Connor

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, PA 16802

1Present address: Honeywell Thermal Solutions, Muncie, IN 47307.

Manuscript received June 27, 2019; final manuscript received July 11, 2019; published online August 2, 2019. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(10), 101009 (Aug 02, 2019) (8 pages) Paper No: GTP-19-1352; doi: 10.1115/1.4044230 History: Received June 27, 2019; Revised July 11, 2019

The characterization and mitigation of thermoacoustic combustion instabilities in gas turbine engines are necessary to reduce pollutant emissions, premature wear, and component failure associated with unstable flames. Fuel staging, a technique in which the fuel flow to a multinozzle combustor is unevenly distributed between the nozzles, has been shown to mitigate the intensity of self-excited combustion instabilities in multiple nozzle combustors. In our previous work, we hypothesized that staging suppresses instability through a phase-cancelation effect in which the heat release rate from the staged nozzle oscillates out of phase with that of the other nozzles, leading to destructive interference that suppresses the instability. This previous theory, however, was based on chemiluminescence imaging, which is a line-of-sight integrated technique. In this work, we use high-speed laser-induced fluorescence to further investigate instability suppression in two staging configurations: center-nozzle and outer-nozzle staging. An edge-tracking algorithm is used to compute local flame edge displacement as a function of time, allowing instability-driven edge oscillation phase coherence and other instantaneous flame dynamics to be spectrally and spatially resolved. Analysis of flame edge oscillations shows the presence of convecting coherent fluctuations of the flame edge caused by periodic vortex shedding. When the system is unstable, these two flame edges oscillate together as a result of high-intensity longitudinal-mode acoustic oscillations in the combustor that drive periodic vortex shedding at each of the nozzle exits. In the stable cases, however, the phase between the oscillations of the center and outer flame edges is greater than 90 deg (∼114 deg), suggesting that the phase-cancelation hypothesis may be valid. This analysis allows a better understanding of the instantaneous flame dynamics behind flame edge oscillation phase offset and fuel staging-based instability suppression.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) The multinozzle combustor and (b) a cross section of the staged nozzle showing (1) flow of premixed fuel and air, (2) injection of staging fuel, (3) swirler, and (4) the combined flow region

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Fig. 2

Time-averaged chemiluminescence image of the combustor. Black dashed lines denote laser sheet bounds. Red dashed lines denote LIF image field of view. Gray blocks indicate nozzle boundaries. Left (L), center (C), and right (R) flame locations marked (See color figure online).

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Fig. 3

FSD plots for (a) unstaged unstable, (b) right-nozzle staged, and (c) center-nozzle staged operating modes

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Fig. 4

Instantaneous LIF image time series of unstable operating mode. Left to right: center flame, recirculation zone, right flame. Timestep = 0.1 ms ordered vertically.

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Fig. 5

Instantaneous LIF image comparison of (a) right- and (b) center-nozzle staging. Timestep = 0.1 ms ordered vertically.

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Fig. 6

(a) LRMS and (b) ф for all operating modes

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Fig. 7

Single-sided power spectral density of L′ and P′ for (a) unstaged unstable, (b) right-nozzle staged stable, and (c) center-nozzle staged stable operating modes

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Fig. 8

Box plots of ф for unstable unstaged, stable right-staged (R), and stable center-staged (C) operating modes. Dashed lines demarcates the in-phase and out-of-phase regions.

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Fig. 9

Dump plane pressure time series for (a) unstable unstaged, (b) right-nozzle staged, and (c) center-nozzle staged operating modes

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Fig. 10

Center flame right branch (CR) and right flame left branch (RL) L′ time series for (a) unstaged unstable, (b) right-nozzle staged, and (c) center-nozzle staged operating modes

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