The development process for gas turbine combustion systems includes single-burner high-pressure combustion tests as an important validation step. In these tests the performance of a combustor is investigated at realistic gas turbine conditions. Measurement techniques that are typically used in these tests include mass flow meters, thermocouples, pressure transducers, and probes for exhaust-gas composition measurements. These measurement techniques, however, do not provide direct information of the flame behavior.
Chemiluminescence measurements have proven to being a valuable and robust technique to close this gap [1,2]. This paper summarizes the results of chemiluminescence measurements performed at Siemens full-scale high-pressure single-burner combustion test rigs at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne, Germany. To minimize the impact of the measurement system on the experiment, the optical access to the test rigs was provided by a water-cooled endoscopic probe. The probe was located in a side-wall downstream of the burner, viewing upstream towards the burner outlet. The probe was successfully operated up to full engine pressure and flame temperatures of approximately 1900 K.
For the detection of the chemiluminescence signal different approaches were applied:
• Spectral analyses of the chemiluminescence signal were done by using an USB spectrometer.
• For flame imaging up to two intensified CCD cameras were applied. In front of the cameras various combinations of optical filters were installed to selectively record the respective chemiluminescent species (OH*, CH*, CO2*).
• For studies with special focus on combustion dynamics an intensified high-speed CMOS camera was used. High-repetition-rate measurements were used for identifying the shapes of flame modes.
• Acoustic pressure oscillations inside the combustion chamber were recorded by pressure transducers simultaneously to the camera images. This allows the pressure oscillations to be correlated with flame fluctuations during post-processing [3,4].
Generally, the robustness of endoscopic chemiluminescence measurements was successfully demonstrated in numerous tests at realistic gas turbine conditions. The applied imaging setups provided new information about the connection between the flame position and NOx emissions as well as the correlation of flame fluctuations and pressure oscillations. Hence, they have become a valuable experimental tool to improve the evaluation and understanding of the combustor performance. Future work will focus on further improvement of quantitative evaluations by compensation of line-of-sight image integration, reabsorption of OH* by OH, and beam steering.