Acoustic Design Parameter Change of a Pressurized Combustor Leading to Limit Cycle Oscillations

Mehmet Kapucu*, Jim B.W. Kok, Artur K. Pozarlik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Downloads (Pure)


When aiming to cut down on the emission of nitric oxides by gas turbine engines, it is advantageous to have them operate at low combustion temperatures. This is achieved by lean premixed combustion. Although lean premixed combustion is a proven and promising technology, it is also very sensitive to thermoacoustic instabilities. These instabilities occur due to a coupling between the unsteady heat release rate of the flame and the acoustic field inside the combustion chamber. In this paper, this coupling is investigated in detail. Two acoustic design parameters of a swirl-stabilized pressurized preheated air (300 °C)/natural gas combustor are varied, and the occurrence of thermoacoustic limit cycle oscillations is explored. The sensitivity of the acoustic field as a function of combustion chamber length (0.9 m to 1.8 m) and reflection coefficient (0.7 and 0.9) at the exit of the combustor is investigated first using a hybrid numerical and analytical approach. ANSYS CFX is used for Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) numerical simulations, and a one-dimensional acoustic network model is used for the analytical investigation. Subsequently, the effects of a change in the reflection coefficient are validated on a pressurized combustor test rig at 125 kW and 1.5 bar. With the change in reflection coefficient, the combustor switched to limit cycle oscillation as predicted, and reached a sound pressure level of 150 dB.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1885
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Acoustic Design Parameter Change of a Pressurized Combustor Leading to Limit Cycle Oscillations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this