In order to meet ever-increasingly stringent emission requirements, combustors are increasingly being designed to operate in a premixed mode. Although this is beneficial as far as reducing NOX is concerned, it has the disadvantage that premixed flames are particularly susceptible to thermo-acoustic oscillations and many premixed systems have experienced structural damage caused by combustion instability.
Our work is aimed at enabling aero-engines, industrial gas turbines and power stations to be able to operate stably with low chemical pollutants. Our work involves low order modelling, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and experiments. This is aimed at reliable predictions for the frequency and onset of oscillations so that designs that are particularly susceptible to instability can be avoided. We are interested in both active and passive means of controlling damaging oscillations. The most practical means of active control is through the suitably phased addition of additional fuel. Current work in this area includes the theoretical development of control strategies (model-based and adaptive) and a major experiment on active control of a gas-fuelled lean premixed combustor.
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