Turbulent premixed combustion is studied using experiments and numerical simulations in an acoustically uncoupled cylindrical sudden-expansion swirl combustor, and the impact of the equivalence ratio on the flame–flow characteristics is analyzed. In order to numerically capture the inherent unsteadiness exhibited in the flow, the large eddy simulation (LES) technique based on the artificial flame thickening combustion model is employed. The experimental data are obtained using particle image velocimetry. It is observed that changes in heat loading, in the presence of wall confinement, significantly influence the flow field in the wake region, the stabilization location of the flame, and the flame intensity. Specifically, increasing the equivalence ratio drastically reduces the average inner recirculation zone size and causes transition of the flame macrostructure from the “V” configuration to the “M” configuration. In other words, while the flame stabilizes along the inner shear layer for the V flame, a persistent diffuse reaction zone is also manifested along the outer shear layer for the M flame. The average chemiluminescence intensity increases in the case of the M flame macrostructure, while the axial span of the reaction zone within the combustion chamber decreases. The predictions of the numerical approach resemble the experimental observations, suggesting that the LES framework can be an effective tool for examining the effect of heat loading on flame–flow interactions and the mechanism of transition of the flame macrostructure with a corresponding change in the equivalence ratio.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-110-010-01
Acknowledgements: This research was partially funded under Grant KUS-110-010-01 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. The contributions by Dr. Zachary LaBry, Dr. Konstantina Vogiatzaki, and Dr. Neerav Abani to the discussions are gratefully acknowledged.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.