Pulse combustors are widely applied for heating, drying and even propulsion applications because of their higher efficiency, higher heat transfer rates and lower emission than steady combustors. However, fundamentals of this pulse combustor remain till date largely unexplored. Experiments are conducted on a laboratory-scale thermal pulse combustor. The set-up consists of an upstream section, the combustor and the tailpipe. The optical signal from the flame is measured with a photomultiplier tube and pressure fluctuations are measured using a dynamic pressure transducer. The time series data reconstructed with SSA (Singular Spectrum Analysis) reveals that at a given air flow rate as the fuel flow rate is reduced, three distinct regimes are observed: strongly pulsating, weakly pulsating and non-pulsating. Nonlinear analysis suggests the existence of quasiperiodic orbits for the pulsating cases. The phase difference between pressure and heat release rate fluctuations confirm sustained instability for the pulsating cases. The characteristic frequency is found to decrease with decrease in fuel flow rate and increase in tailpipe length for a given air flow rate. Different orientation of fuel inlet has been implemented to achieve pulsating combustion under lean fuel conditions.

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