In this article, we describe the use of proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) to investigate how the dominant wake structures of a bluff-body-stabilized turbulent premixed flame are affected by the heat released by the flame itself. The investigation uses a validated large eddy simulation (LES) to simulate the dynamics of the bluff-body's wake (Blanchard et al., 2014, “Simulating Bluff-Body Flameholders: On the Use of Proper Orthogonal Decomposition for Wake Dynamics Validation,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 136(12), p. 122603; Blanchard et al., 2014, “Simulating Bluff-Body Flameholders: On the Use of Proper Orthogonal Decomposition for Combustion Dynamics Validation,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 136(12), p. 121504). The numerical simulations allow the effect of heat release, shown as the ratio of the burned to unburned temperatures, to be varied independently from the Damköhler number. Five simulations are reported with varying fractions of the heat release ranging from 0% to 100% of the value of the baseline experiment. The results indicate similar trends reported qualitatively by others, but by using POD to isolate the dominant heat release modes of each simulation, the decomposed data can clearly show how the previously reported flow structures transition from asymmetric shedding in the case of zero heat-release to a much weaker, but fully symmetric shedding mode in the case of full heat release with a much more elongated and stable wake.

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