Comptes Rendus
Massively parallel LES of azimuthal thermo-acoustic instabilities in annular gas turbines
Comptes Rendus. Mécanique, Volume 337 (2009) no. 6-7, pp. 385-394.

Increasingly stringent regulations and the need to tackle rising fuel prices have placed great emphasis on the design of aeronautical gas turbines, which are unfortunately more and more prone to combustion instabilities. In the particular field of annular combustion chambers, these instabilities often take the form of azimuthal modes. To predict these modes, one must compute the full combustion chamber, which remained out of reach until very recently and the development of massively parallel computers. In this article, full annular Large Eddy Simulations (LES) of two helicopter combustors, which differ only on the swirlers' design, are performed. In both computations, LES captures self-established rotating azimuthal modes. However, the two cases exhibit different thermo-acoustic responses and the resulting limit-cycles are different. With the first design, a self-excited strong instability develops, leading to pulsating flames and local flashback. In the second case, the flames are much less affected by the azimuthal mode and remain stable, allowing an acceptable operation. Hence, this study highlights the potential of LES for discriminating injection system designs.

La conception des turbines à gaz aéronautiques est aujourd'hui de plus en plus délicate avec souvent l'apparition d'instabilités de combustion. Pour prédire ces instabilités, qui prennent fréquemment la forme de modes azimutaux dans les chambres annulaires, il est nécessaire de simuler l'intégralité de la chambre, ce qui restait hors de portée jusqu'à très récemment et l'apparition des calculateurs massivement parallèles. Cet article présente les Simulations aux Grandes Echelles (SGE) de deux chambres d'hélicoptère complètes qui ne diffèrent que sur certains détails géométriques des tourbillonneurs. Dans les deux cas, la SGE capture l'apparition et l'établissement de modes azimutaux tournants. Néanmoins, les deux cas présentent des réponses thermo-acoustiques différentes et les cycles limites correspondants diffèrent. Pour l'un des cas, une forte instabilité se développe et entraîne une pulsation des flammes tandis que l'autre cas montre des flammes qui restent bien ancrées et nettement moins affectées par le mode. Cette étude souligne donc la capacité de la SGE à discriminer des systèmes d'injection.

Published online:
DOI: 10.1016/j.crme.2009.06.003
Keywords: Fluid dynamics, Combustion instabilities, Annular gas turbines, Azimuthal modes, LES
Mot clés : Mécanique des fluides, Instabilités de combustion, Turbines à gaz annulaires, Modes azimutaux, SGE

P. Wolf 1; G. Staffelbach 1; A. Roux 1; L. Gicquel 1; T. Poinsot 2; V. Moureau 3

1 CERFACS, 42, avenue G. Coriolis, 31057 Toulouse cedex 1, France
2 IMFT – CNRS, Toulouse, France
3 Turbomeca (SAFRAN group), Bordes, France
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     title = {Massively parallel {LES} of azimuthal thermo-acoustic instabilities in annular gas turbines},
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P. Wolf; G. Staffelbach; A. Roux; L. Gicquel; T. Poinsot; V. Moureau. Massively parallel LES of azimuthal thermo-acoustic instabilities in annular gas turbines. Comptes Rendus. Mécanique, Volume 337 (2009) no. 6-7, pp. 385-394. doi : 10.1016/j.crme.2009.06.003.

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