The design of future combustion system for F-class heavy duty gas turbine is driven by very low emission requirements, high reliability, long lifetime, fuel flexibility and combustion instability free operation. The present paper introduces the process of design validation, at test rig, of the new VeLoNOx™ burner prototypes for the most recent upgrades of the AE94.3A engine families, equipped with 24 annular combustors. Full scale testing is usually a very costly process. At the first design stage it can be reduced on a single burner housed in a cylindrical flame tube, whose shape is representative of 1/24 of the real annular combustion chamber. Because the thermo acoustic behaviour of one single burner can be greatly different than on the real engine, the design validation process cannot rely only on emission levels but should take into account the assessment of some correlations relating both test rig and field behaviour. Tests are carried out on a pressurized test rig, covering all relevant conditions of the engine, starting from Full Speed No Load to 105% of the Base Load. Each prototype, and its relevant design process, is then assessed by applying a design validation procedure to the results of experimental test campaign on the rig. Particular attention is given to analyze the acoustic response of each system as function of air to fuel ratio, flame mode, emission levels, rangeability and thermal power output. From the acoustic point of view, each burner is accurately analysed both at steady state conditions and during ramps. This paper shows the results of different VeLoNOx™ burner prototypes tested in order to identify the most promising solution to be fitted onto the AE94.3A engines.

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