This study deals with the investigations on the sources and the control of combustion noise, in an atmospheric gas turbine combustor. Combustion noise encountered here is also termed as hooting, as it occurs within a limited bandwidth of frequencies ranging from 300–450 Hz. Combustion noise is usually classified as direct and in-direct combustion noise. The present study emphases on the direct combustion noise which occurs when a volume of gas expands at constant pressure, as soon as it is heated by combustion; this results in a sound wave which propagates outside the boundary of the flame. At certain conditions, if the unsteady heat release rate drives the acoustic oscillations, satisfying Rayleigh criterion, pressure oscillations grow leading to discrete tonal sound and this phenomena is termed as combustion instability.

Experiments are conducted in a liquid fuelled swirl stabilized atmospheric gas turbine combustor, whose aspect ratio is 2.5, combustion intensity varies from 25MW/m3 atm to 50MW/m3 atm. Air is passed through various stages: primary, secondary, quenching and atomizing air. Aviation turbine fuel is injected through an air-blast atomizer. An unsteady pressure transducer is located at the primary zone to measure the acoustic oscillations. The frequency of sound generated during the combustion process is compared with a microphone located at 1.25 m away from the combustor at an angle of 45° from the axis of the combustor.

The main objective of this paper is to investigate the cause of hooting and the passive control techniques in order to reduce it. This is achieved by two ways, systematically by two ways, i) reducing the quenching air methodologically reducing the quenching air and ii) varying the air to liquid (fuel) ratio (ALR). By imparting these methods the sound pressure level inside the combustor is reduced from 143dB to 128dB. Since, combustion noise occurs in a broad-band of frequencies, the unsteady data obtained with the pressure transducer are analyzed using octave bands, where it shows linear decrement of energy present in-between the two frequencies. In order to perform parametric study, two swirlers of swirl numbers.0.77 and 0.86 are used. Established by the physics of Helmholtz oscillator, the combustor hooting is dictated, by which the sound produced by the combustor is explained.

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