The present experimental study focuses on flame characteristics and turbulent flame speeds of lean premixed flames typical for stationary gas turbines. Measurements were performed in a generic combustor at a preheating temperature of 673 K, pressures up to 14.4 bars (absolute), a bulk velocity of 40 m/s, and an equivalence ratio in the range of 0.43–0.56. Turbulence intensities and integral length scales were measured in an isothermal flow field with Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). The turbulence intensity (u′) and the integral length scale (LT) at the combustor inlet were varied using turbulence grids with different blockage ratios and different hole diameters. The position, shape, and fluctuation of the flame front were characterized by a statistical analysis of Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence images of the OH radical (OH-PLIF). Turbulent flame speeds were calculated and their dependence on operating conditions (p, φ) and turbulence quantities (u′, LT) are discussed and compared to correlations from literature. No influence of pressure on the most probable flame front position or on the turbulent flame speed was observed. As expected, the equivalence ratio had a strong influence on the most probable flame front position, the spatial flame front fluctuation, and the turbulent flame speed. Decreasing the equivalence ratio results in a shift of the flame front position farther downstream due to the lower fuel concentration and the lower adiabatic flame temperature and subsequently lower turbulent flame speed. Flames operated at leaner equivalence ratios show a broader spatial fluctuation as the lean blow-out limit is approached and therefore are more susceptible to flow disturbances. In addition, because of a lower turbulent flame speed these flames stabilize farther downstream in a region with higher velocity fluctuations. This increases the fluctuation of the flame front. Flames with higher turbulence quantities (u′, LT) in the vicinity of the combustor inlet exhibited a shorter length and a higher calculated flame speed. An enhanced turbulent heat and mass transport from the recirculation zone to the flame root location due to an intensified mixing which might increase the preheating temperature or the radical concentration is believed to be the reason for that.

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