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CFD Investigation of Turbulent Premixed Flame Response to Transverse Forcing

[+] Author Affiliations
C. Y. Lee, R. S. Cant

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Paper No. GT2013-94312, pp. V01AT04A018; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2013: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 1A: Combustion, Fuels and Emissions
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, June 3–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5510-2
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Screech is a high frequency oscillation that is usually characterized by instabilities caused by large-scale coherent flow structures in the wake of bluff-body flameholders and shear layers. Such oscillations can lead to changes in flame surface area which can cause the flame to burn unsteadily, but also couple with the acoustic modes and inherent fluid-mechanical instabilities that are present in the system.

In this study, the flame response to hydrodynamic oscillations is analyzed in a controlled manner using high-fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) with an unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes approach. The response of a premixed flame with and without transverse velocity forcing is analyzed. When unforced, the flame is shown to exhibit a self-excitation that is attributed to the anti-symmetric shedding of vortices in the wake of the flameholder. The flame is also forced using two different kinds of low-amplitude out-of-phase inlet velocity forcing signals. The first forcing method is harmonic forcing with a single characteristic frequency, while the second forcing method involves a broadband forcing signal with frequencies in the range of 500–1000 Hz.

For the harmonic forcing method, the flame is perturbed only lightly about its mean position and exhibits a limit cycle oscillation that is characteristic of the forcing frequency. For the broadband forcing method, larger changes in the flame surface area and detachment of the flame sheet can be seen. Transition to a complicated trajectory in the phase space is observed. When analyzed systematically with system identification methods, the CFD results, expressed in the form of the Flame Transfer Function (FTF) are capable of elucidating the flame response to the imposed perturbation. The FTF also serves to identify, both spatially and temporally, regions where the flame responds linearly and nonlinearly. Locking-in between the flame’s natural self-excited frequency and the subharmonic frequencies of the broadband forcing signal is found to alter the dynamical behaviour of the flame.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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