Propulsion systems such as gas turbines are susceptible to combustion instability, when operated at lean equivalence ratio [1]. During combustion instability, there is a nonlinear interaction between combustion and acoustics leading to large amplitude acoustic oscillations. These large amplitude oscillations are detrimental to the stability of the combustor and can cause damages to the structural integrity of the combustor, flame flash back or blow off. The main source of nonlinearity is in the heat release rate caused due to the velocity perturbations at the flame holder [2]. The heat release rate fluctuations are due to the variation in the flame surface area. Hence there is a need to understand the flame dynamics that contributes to the heat release rate fluctuations. The present study aims in understanding the stability of a V - flame combustor by varying the flame location inside an acoustic resonator. By varying the flame location the instability regimes of the combustor are identified. At the flame locations where the system exhibits combustion instability, acoustic pressure oscillations are acquired simultaneously with high speed images of the flame front fluctuations so that a correlation can be made between them. Tools from dynamical systems theory are applied to the pressure signal to quantify different dynamical states of the system during combustion instability. Moreover the flame dynamics at each dynamical state are investigated. It is observed that combustion instability is characterized by interesting dynamical states such as frequency locked state, quasi-periodic oscillations, period 3 oscillations and chaotic oscillations. High speed imaging of the flame reveals different interesting patterns of flame behavior during combustion instability. Flame wrinkling, roll up of flame elements, separation as islands of the flame elements and mutual annihilation of flame elements were some of the interesting flame behavior observed. This study helps in understanding the role of nonlinear heat release rate mechanism in establishing different dynamical states during combustion instability.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.