Spatially Resolved Equivalence Ratio Measurements Using Tomographic Reconstruction of OH*/CH* Chemiluminescence
Giroux III, Thomas Joseph
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Thermoacoustic instabilities in gas turbine operation arise due to unsteady fluctuations in heat release coupled with acoustic oscillations, often caused by varying equivalence ratio perturbations within the flame field. These instabilities can cause irreparable damage to critical turbine components, requiring an understanding of the spatial/temporal variations in equivalence ratio values to predict flame response. The technique of computed tomography for flame chemiluminescence emissions allows for 3D spatially resolved flame measurements to be acquired using a series of integral projections (camera images). High resolution tomography reconstructions require a selection of projection angles around the flame, while captured chemiluminescence of radical species intensity fields can be used to determine local fuel-air ratios. In this work, a tomographic reconstruction algorithm program was developed and utilized to reconstruct the intensity fields of CH* and OH*, and these reconstructions were used to quantify local equivalence ratios in an acoustically forced flame. A known phantom function was used to verify and validate the tomography algorithm, while convergence was determined by subsequent monitoring of selected iterative criteria. A documented method of camera calibration was also reproduced and presented here, with suggestions provided for future calibration improvement. Results are shown to highlight fluctuating equivalence ratio trends while illustrating the effectiveness of the developed tomography technique, providing a firm foundation for future study regarding heat release phenomena.
General Audience Abstract
Acoustic sound amplification occurs in the combustion chamber of a gas turbine due to the machine ramping up in operation. These loud sound oscillations continue to grow larger and can damage the turbine machinery and even threaten the safety of the operator. Because of this, many researchers have attempted to understand and predict this behavior in hopes of ending them altogether. One method of studying these sound amplifications is looking at behaviors in the turbine combustion flame so as to potentially shed light on how these large disturbances form and accumulate. Both heat release rate (the steady release of energy in the form of heat from a combustion flame) and equivalence ratio (the mass ratio of fuel to air burned in a combustion process) have proven viable in illustrating oscillatory flame behavior, and can be visualized using chemiluminescence imaging paired with computed tomography. Chemiluminescence imaging is used to obtain intensity fields of species from high resolution camera imaging, while computed tomography techniques are capable of reconstructing these images into a three-dimensional volume to represent and visualize the combustion flame. These techniques have been shown to function effectively in previous literature and were further implemented in this work. A known calibration technique from previous work was carried out along with reconstructing a defined phantom function to show the functionality of the developed tomography algorithm. Results illustrate the effectiveness of the tomographic reconstruction technique and highlight the amplified acoustic behavior of a combustion flame in a high noise environment.
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