The resonant coupling between flames and acoustics is a growing issue for gas turbine manufacturers, which can be reduced by adding acoustic dampers on the combustion chamber walls. Nonetheless, if the engine is operated out of the stable window, the damper is exposed to high-amplitude acoustic levels, which trigger unwanted nonlinear effects. This work provides an overview of the dynamics of this coupled system using a simple analytical model, where a perfectly tuned damper is coupled to the combustion chamber. The damper, crossed by a purge flow in order to prevent hot gas ingestion, is modeled as a nonlinearly damped harmonic oscillator. The combustion chamber featuring a linearly unstable thermoacoustic mode is modeled as a Van der Pol oscillator. Analyzing the averaged amplitude equations gives the limit cycle amplitudes as function of the growth rate of the unstable mode and the mean velocity through the damper neck. Experiments are also performed on a simple rectangular cavity, where the thermoacoustic instability is mimicked by an electro-acoustic instability. A feedback loop is built, through which the growth rate of the instability can be controlled. A Helmholtz damper is added to the cavity and tuned to the mode of interest. The stabilization capabilities of the damper and the amplitude of the limit cycle in the unstable cases are in good agreement between the experiments and the analytical and numerical predictions, underlining the potentially dangerous behavior of the system, which should be taken into account for real engine cases.

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