Active control of thermoacoustic fluctuations by nanosecond repetitively pulsed glow discharges

Ammar M. Alkhalifa, Abdulrahman Alsalem, Davide Del Cont-Bernard, Deanna A. Lacoste*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this study, the use of nanosecond repetitively pulsed (NRP) glow discharges to mitigate thermoacoustic fluctuations was investigated. Two strategies in applying the discharges were compared: continuous forcing and closed-loop gated forcing. It was found that NRP glow discharges could mitigate thermoacoustic fluctuations in a wall-stabilized methane-air flame either by applying the discharges continuously or using a closed-loop control scheme. A parametric study was done to investigate the role of the forcing phase, the applied voltage (6.3–6.8 kV), the pulse repetition frequency (15–30 kHz), the duty cycle (24–50%), and the forcing frequency on the performance of the plasma actuator. The most effective control of the thermoacoustic fluctuations was obtained when using the closed-loop control scheme with an applied voltage of 6.8 kV, a forcing frequency matching the instability frequency, close to phase opposition with the instability, and a power input of 0.8% of the flame thermal power. It was also found that the duty cycle in the tested range did not have a significant effect on the performance of the scheme when the number of discharges per cycle was constant. Phase-locked imaging of the flame was employed and showed that the flame's base location, surface area, and surface area gradient oscillated over the thermoacoustic period. For the best discharge forcing, the oscillations in the flame's base location and surface area were suppressed making the flame temporally and spatially stable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5429-5437
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology , through the baseline fund BAS/1/1396-01-01 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Combustion Institute


  • Flame dynamics
  • NRP discharges
  • Plasma-assisted combustion
  • Thermoacoustic instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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