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A hysteresis phenomenon leading to spinning or standing azimuthal instabilities in an annular combustor

Abstract : Thermo-acoustic instabilities in annular combustors equipped with swirling turbulent injectors are most often coupled by azimuthal modes with a spinning or a standing structure. Experiments, and recent large eddy simulations, indicate that switching takes place between these two types of modes while in other cases a single mode type prevails. Why and how one type arises is a subject of ongoing discussions in recent theoretical and numerical investigations. The present article considers this intriguing issue by malting use of well controlled experiments carried out in an annular combustion system comprising 16 identical matrix injectors operating in a laminar premixed mode and allowing full optical access to the flame region. This setup is used in a first stage to determine regions of instability as a function of equivalence ratio and injection velocity. It is shown that regions corresponding to spinning and standing azimuthal modes are well separated in this diagram, but with some overlap giving rise to a "dual mode" domain. For the same operating conditions, this annular system thus exhibits self-sustained instabilities with stable limit cycles coupled by a spinning or a standing mode. It is next shown that the mode which appears in that region depends on the path followed to reach the operating point. Starting from a lean operating condition, the system first develops a chugging instability with a broad frequency spectrum, which then gives rise to a well-established spinning oscillation with a narrow peak frequency in the dual mode region. When operation begins under rich conditions one first observes another chugging mode that finally yields a standing mode when the equivalence ratio is diminished. Away from these regimes, well defined slanted modes and longitudinal modes can also be triggered. In the dual mode region, the type of instability is controlled by an hysteresis phenomenon and the respective chugging modes act as precursors to these established azimuthal modes. It is found that the trajectories in a state space map contain indications on the kind of azimuthal oscillation that will be observed when the target operating point is reached. Beyond the various theoretical explanations of the prevalence of one type of mode on the other, the present observations indicate that spinning or standing modes may also appear in annular combustors as a result of the path used to enter the region of azimuthal instability. (C) 2016 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Kevin Prieur, D. Durox, Thierry Schuller, Sebastien Candel. A hysteresis phenomenon leading to spinning or standing azimuthal instabilities in an annular combustor. Combustion and Flame, Elsevier, 2017, 175, pp.283-291. ⟨10.1016/j.combustflame.2016.05.021⟩. ⟨hal-02398373⟩



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