The current work focuses on the large eddy simulation (LES) of combustion instability in a laboratory-scale swirl burner. Air and fuel are injected at ambient conditions. Heat conduction from the combustion chamber to the plenums results in a preheating of the air and fuel flows above ambient conditions. The paper compares two computations: In the first computation, the temperature of the injected reactants is 300 K (equivalent to the experiment) and the combustor walls are treated as adiabatic. The frequency of the unstable mode (≈ 635 Hz) deviates significantly from the measured frequency (≈ 750 Hz). In the second computation, the preheating effect observed in the experiment and the heat losses at the combustion chamber walls are taken into account. The frequency (≈ 725 Hz) of the unstable mode agrees well with the experiment. These results illustrate the importance of accounting for heat transfer/losses when applying LES for the prediction of combustion instabilities. Uncertainties caused by unsuitable modeling strategies when using computational fluid dynamics for the prediction of combustion instabilities can lead to an improper design of passive control methods (such as Helmholtz resonators) as these are often only effective in a limited frequency range.

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