This paper describes the development and initial application studies for an active combustion pattern factor controller (APFC) for gas turbines. The system is based around use of a novel silicon carbide (SiC) optical ultraviolet (UV) dual diode flame temperature sensor (FTS) developed by General Electric’s Global Research Center and GE Energy. The APFC system determines combustion flame temperatures, validates the values, and integrates an assessment of signal and combustion hardware health to determine how to trim the fuel flow to individual fuel nozzles. Key aspects of the system include: • Determination of each flame’s bulk temperature using the FTS. • Assessment of the reliability of the flame temperature data and physical combustion hardware health through analysis of the high frequency output of the sensor. • Validation of the flame temperature signal using a data-driven approach (model based validation - MBV). • Fusion of sensor ‘health indices’ into the APFC to alter the trim control signal based on the health (or ‘believability’) of each sensor and fuel nozzle/combustor. • Fault-tolerant peak/valley detection and control module that selects individual fuel valves to target for reducing pattern factor, while simultaneously balancing the overall fuel flow. The authors demonstrated feasibility of the approach by performing simulations using a quasi-2D T700 turbine engine model. Tests were run on the simulated platform with no faults, simulated sensor faults, and on a system with underlying combustion hardware issues. The final APFC system would be applicable for aviation, naval and land-based commercial gas turbines, and can be used in closed-loop control or adapted as an open-loop advisory / diagnostic system.

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