Effect of an Azimuthal Mean Flow On the Structure and Stability of Thermoacoustic Modes in an Annular Combustor Model with Electroacoustic Feedback
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Engineering For Gas Turbines and Power. 2020, . 10.1115/1.4048693
Thermoacoustic oscillations in axisymmetric annular combustors are generally coupled by degenerate azimuthal modes, which can be of standing or spinning nature. Symmetry breaking due to the presence of a mean azimuthal flow splits the degenerate thermoacoustic eigenvalues, resulting in pairs of counter-spinning modes with close but distinct frequencies and growth rates. In this study, experiments have been performed using an annular system where the thermoacoustic feedback due to the flames is mimicked by twelve identical electroacoustic feedback loops. The mean azimuthal flow is generated by fans. We investigate the standing/spinning nature of the oscillations as a function of the Mach number for two types of initial states, and how the stability of the system is affected by the mean azimuthal flow. It is found that spinning, standing or mixed modes can be encountered at very low Mach number, but increasing the mean velocity promotes one spinning direction. At sufficiently high Mach number, spinning modes are observed in the limit cycle oscillations. In some cases, the initial conditions have a significant impact on the final state of the system. It is found that the presence of a mean azimuthal flow increases the acoustic damping. This has a beneficial effect on stability: it often reduces the amplitude of the self-sustained oscillations, and can even suppress them in some cases. However, we observe that the suppression of a mode due to the mean flow may destabilize another one. We discuss our findings in relation with an existing low-order model.