Finite element analysis of acoustic wave transverse to longitudinal coupling during transverse combustion instability
Blimbaum, Jordan Matthew
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Velocity-coupled combustion instability is a major issue facing lean combustor design in modern gas turbine applications. In this study, we analyze the complex acoustic field excited by a transverse acoustic mode in an annular combustor. This work is motivated by the need to understand the various velocity disturbance mechanisms present in the flame region during a transverse instability event. Recent simulation and experimental studies have shown that much of the flame response during these transverse instabilities may be due to the longitudinal motion induced by the fluctuating pressure field above the nozzles. This transverse to longitudinal coupling has been discussed in previous work, but in this work it is given a robust acoustic treatment via computational methods in order to verify the mechanisms by which these two motions couple. We will provide an in-depth discussion of this coupling mechanism and propose a parameter, Rz, also referred to as the Impedance Ratio, in order to compare the pressure/velocity relationship at the nozzle outlet to quasi one-dimensional theoretical acoustic approximations. A three-dimensional inviscid simulation was developed to simulate transversely propagating acoustic pressure waves, based on an earlier experiment designed to measure these effects. Modifications to this geometry have been made to account for lack of viscosity in the pure acoustic simulation and are discussed. Results from this study show that transverse acoustic pressure excites significant axial motion in and around the nozzle over a large range of frequencies. Furthermore, the development of Rz offers a defined physical parameter through which to reference this important velocity-coupled instability mechanism. Therefore, this study offers an in-depth and quantifiable understanding of the instability mechanism caused by transversely propagating acoustic waves across a combustor inlet, which can be applied to greatly improve annular combustor design in future low-emissions gas turbine engines.