Abstract

Understanding thermoacoustic instabilities is essential for the reliable operation of gas turbine engines. To complicate this understanding, the extreme sensitivity of gas turbine combustors can lead to instability characteristics that differ across a fleet. The capability to monitor flame transfer functions in fielded engines would provide valuable data to improve this understanding and aid in gas turbine operability from R&D to field tuning. This paper presents a new experimental facility used to analyze performance of full-scale gas turbine fuel injector hardware at elevated pressure and temperature. It features a liquid cooled, fiber-coupled probe that provides direct optical access to the heat release zone for high-speed chemiluminescence measurements. The probe was designed with fielded applications in mind. In addition, the combustion chamber includes an acoustic sensor array and a large objective window for verification of the probe using high-speed chemiluminescence imaging. This work experimentally demonstrates the new setup under scaled engine conditions, with a focus on operational zones that yield interesting acoustic tones. Results include a demonstration of the probe, preliminary analysis of acoustic and high speed chemiluminescence data, and high speed chemiluminescence imaging. The novelty of this paper is the deployment of a new test platform that incorporates full-scale engine hardware and provides the ability to directly compare acoustic and heat release response in a high-temperature, high-pressure environment to determine the flame transfer functions. This work is a stepping-stone towards the development of an on-line flame transfer function measurement technique for production engines in the field.

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