The present study focuses on identifying and resolving large-scale energy containing structures and turbulent eddies in a typical gas turbine combustor single nozzle rig, using particle image velocimetry in cold flow. A generic fuel-air nozzle through a swirler is integrated with a sudden expansion square duct with optical access to perform laser diagnostics. Experiments are conducted to analyze the swirl flow field under starting and operating flow conditions. Three-component velocities are obtained in cross-sectional planes of Z/D = 0, 1.25, and 2.5 (normalized by the nozzle diameter), and two-component velocities are obtained in the mid-plane along the longitudinal (Z-) axis from Z/D = 0 to 2.5D. Velocity splitting is performed using spatial Gaussian smoothing with a kernel with filter width equal to integral scale is performed over the velocity fields to resolve the field of large-scale energy containing eddies. Proper orthogonal decomposition is performed over the large-scale velocity field, and the modes obtained indicate the existence of the precessing vortex core (PVC), formation of small scales Kelvin-Helmholtz (K-H) vortices for Z/D < 1.25D, and large-scale growing K-H structures in 1.25D < Z/D < 2.5D. Turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) is obtained from the turbulent velocity fluctuations below the integral length scale and is observed to be higher at the interface of the corner recirculation zone (CRZ) and central toroidal recirculation zone (CTRZ). Resolving the swirl velocity field obtained in the above manner into large-scale structures formed by the PVC, CTRZ, K-H vortices, CRZ, and small-scale turbulence field, indicates the clear distinction in rapid mixing zones and unsteady convective zones. The length-scales and zones of these structures within the swirl combustor are identified.

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