The main problem for using reliable and stable diffusion combustion in modern gas turbine engines is the production of NOx at a higher level which is not permissible for maintaining the healthy environment. Thus, combustion in lean premixed mode has become the most promising technology in many applications related to power generation gas turbine, industrial burner etc. Although the lean combustion minimizes NOx production, it suffers from an increased risk of lean blowout (LBO) when the requirement of thrust or load is low. It mainly occurs at the lean condition when the equilibrium between the flame speed and the unburnt air-fuel mixture velocity is broken. Current aircraft gas turbine engines operate fuel close to the combustion chamber which leads to the partially premixed combustion. Partially premixed combustion is also susceptible to lean blowout. Therefore, we have designed a swirl-stabilized dump combustor, where different lengths of fuel-air mixing are available. Our present work aims at improving the combustion stability by incorporating a secondary fuel injection through a pilot arrangement connected with the combustion chamber for premixed as well as partially premixed flames. Incorporation of the pilot system adds a small fraction of the total fuel into the combustion chamber directly. This investigation shows significant extension of the LBO limit towards leaner fuel-air mixture while the NOx emission in the combustion chamber is within the permissible limit. This result can be used for aircraft operators during the process of landing when fuel supply has to be decreased to reduce engine thrust or for power plants operating at low loads. The study of control is based on the colour variation of the flame which actually defines the changes in combustion characteristics. For early detection of LBO, the ratio between the intensity of red and blue colour obtained from flame images with a high speed camera is used. As LBO is approached, the ratio of red to blue intensity falls monotonically. When the ratio falls below a preset threshold, a small fraction of the total fuel is added to the central pilot line. This strategy allows the LBO limit to be shifted to a much lower equivalence ratio (maximum 20% and 11% for fully premixed and least premixed flames, respectively) without any significant increase in NOx production. The analysis includes a feedback control algorithm which is computed in MATLAB and the code is embedded in Labview for hardware implementation.

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