Combustion dynamics of multi-element lean-premixed hydrogen-air flame ensemble

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The crux of the technical issues facing the development of hydrogen gas turbine engines is the problem of how to enable low NOx, low dynamics combustor operations without detrimental flashback events in extremely fast lean-premixed hydrogen flames. While flashback mechanisms and nitrogen oxides emissions have been investigated extensively for high hydrogen content flames, the self-excited dynamics of lean-premixed pure hydrogen flame ensembles remain unclear. Here we use phase-resolved OH* chemiluminescence and OH PLIF imaging in a series of experiments in a multi-element injector configuration consisting of 293 small-scale injectors with an inner diameter of 3.0 mm. We collect a large experimental dataset to explore a variety of collective phenomena of the lean-premixed hydrogen-air flame ensemble, and perform systematic investigations of self-induced combustion instabilities. Our observations demonstrate that ultra-compact pure hydrogen flames generate high-amplitude pressure perturbations over a broad range of characteristic frequencies between 400 and 1800 Hz, corresponding to the third to tenth order eigenmodes. Low-frequency flame dynamics developed under relatively low equivalence ratio conditions involve a complex balance among several coexisting phenomena, including strong vortex interactions and periodic extinction-reignition processes, giving rise to large-scale asymmetric oscillations of the entire reaction zone. By contrast, the flame surface dynamics at an intermediate frequency of ~600 Hz exhibit prominent symmetric oscillations accompanied by merging and pinch-off of the constituent flames. Unexpectedly, high-frequency instabilities at approximately 1720 Hz (screech tones) are not influenced by such structurally complex flame dynamics, but by exceptionally simple, seemingly linear, flame surface motion without sudden flame area annihilation events like those observed for lower frequency cases. Despite the extremely low level of heat release rate fluctuations, on the order of less than 1%, the clustered premixed hydrogen flames are capable of producing disproportionately large pressure perturbations in excess of 12 kPa, originating from the synchronous phase dynamics of acoustic pressure and clustered flames’ heat release rate oscillations. These findings provide new insight into the driving mechanisms underlying high-frequency combustion dynamics of densely arranged pure hydrogen-air flames.
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AE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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