Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 433–446 | Cite as

The role of precessing vortex core in two combustion regimes: Numerical simulation studies

  • Zhenlin Wang
  • Xiangsheng LiEmail author
  • Zhenping Feng
  • Zhao Yang


Large Eddy simulation (LES) with finite rate chemistry was used to investigate the combustion dynamics in a lab-scale PRECCINSTA combustion chamber. Transient three dimensional numerical simulations were carried out at two different thermal powers (10 kW and 35 kW) with a fixed equivalence ratio of 0.7. The predicted results were compared with the experimental data and good agreements were found between them. In the cold flow field under both conditions, a precessing vortex core (PVC) in the inner shear layer (ISL) existing between the swirling jet and the inner recirculation zone (IRZ). However, two different flow and combustion dynamics were observed when combustion occurred. At thermal power of 10 kW, there was a V-shaped flame and the combustion of the flame was stable. The PVC disappeared and the vortices arrangement was symmetrical in the ISL. However, at 35 kW, there was a M-shaped flame with a PVC in the ISL and combustion instability triggered. In depth analysis of the characteristics of flow, temperature and heat release field, we found that the flame surface was wrinkled periodically by the PVC which enhanced the mixing between the cold fresh gas and hot burned products. Then, the mixture was ignited locally and heat release was rapid in the middle of the combustion chamber. These effects were directly related to the periodic vortices motion which was induced by PVC. It was confirmed that the influence of PVC on flame surface and heat release is an important factor for triggering the combustion instability at thermal power of 35 kW. The zone division based on different roles of flow/flame and thermoacoustic coupling was also discussed to illustrate the combustion instabilities caused by PVC.


Combustion instability Large eddy simulation Precessing vortex core 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    W. Meier, I. Boxx, M. Stöhr and C. D. Carter, Laser-based investigations in gas turbine model combustors, Experiments in Fluids, 49 (4) (2010) 865–882.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    P. H. Renard, D. Thévenin, J. C. Rolon and S. Candel, Dynamics of flame/vortex interactions, Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 26 (3) (2000) 225–282.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    D. Thévenin et al., Regimes of non-premixed flame-vortex interactions, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 28 (2) (2000) 2101–2108.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    T. Echekki and H. Kolera-Gokula, A regime diagram for premixed flame kernel-vortex interactions, Physics of Fluids, 19 (4) (2007) 043604.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    H. Reddy and J. Abraham, A numerical study of vortex interactions with flames developing from ignition kernels in lean methane/air mixtures, Combustion and Flame, 158 (3) (2011) 401–415.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    N. Syred, A review of oscillation mechanisms and the role of the precessing vortex core (PVC) in swirl combustion systems, Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 32 (2) (2006) 93–161.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    D. Galley, S. Ducruix, F. Lacas and D. Veynante, Mixing and stabilization study of a partially premixed swirling flame using laser induced fluorescence, Combustion and Flame, 158 (1) (2011) 155–171.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    M. Stöhr, C. Arndt and W. Meier, Transient effects of fuel-air mixing in a partially-premixed turbulent swirl flame, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 35 (3) (2015) 3327–3335.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    M. Stöhr, R. Sadanandan and W. Meier, Phase-resolved characterization of vortex-flame interaction in a turbulent swirl flame, Experiments in Fluids, 51 (4) (2011) 1153–1167.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    M. Stöhr, I. Boxx, C. D. Carter and W. Meier, Experimental study of vortex-flame interaction in a gas turbine model combustor, Combustion and Flame, 159 (8) (2012) 2636–2649.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    M. Stöhr, C. Arndt and W. Meier, Effects of Damköhler number on vortex-flame interaction in a gas turbine model combustor, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 34 (2) (2013) 3107–3115.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    P. M. Anacleto, E. C. Fernandes, M. V. Heitor and S. I. Shtork, Swirl flow structure and flame characteristics in a model lean premixed combustor, Combustion Science and Technology, 175 (8) (2003) 1369–1388.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    N. Patel and S. Menon, Simulation of spray-turbulence-flame interactions in a lean direct injection combustor, Combustion and Flame, 153 (1–2) (2008) 228–257.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    P. Fokaides, M. Wei, M. Kern and N. Zarzalis, Flow, experimental and numerical investigation of swirl induced self-excited instabilities at the vicinity of an airblast nozzle, Turbulence and Combustion, 83 (2009) 511–533.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    L. Selle et al., Compressible large eddy simulation of turbulent combustion in complex geometry on unstructured meshes, Combustion and Flame, 137 (4) (2004) 489–505.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    C. Schneider, A. Dreizler and J. Janicka, Flow, fluid dynamical analysis of atmospheric reacting and isothermal swirling flows, Turbulence and Combustion, 74 (1) (2005) 103–127.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    K. U. Schildmacher, R. Koch and H. J. Bauer, Experimental characterization of premixed flame instabilities of a model gas turbine burner, Flow, Turbulence and Combustion, 76 (2) (2006) 177–197.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    M. Freitag and J. Janicka, Investigation of a strongly swirled unconfined premixed flame using LES, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 31 (1) (2007) 1477–1485.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    A. De, S. Zhu and S. Acharya, An experimental and computational study of a swirl-stabilized premixed flame, Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power-Transactions of the ASME, 132 (2010) 071503.Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    M. Stöhr, I. Boxx, C. Carter and W. Meier, Dynamics of lean blowout of a swirl-stabilized flame in a gas turbine model combustor, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 33 (2) (2011) 2953–2960.Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    K. Oberleithner et al., Formation and flame-induced suppression of the precessing vortex core in a swirl combustor: experiments and linear stability analysis, Combust and Flame, 162 (8) (2015) 3100–3114.Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    K. Manoharan, S. Hansford, J. O. Connor and S. Hemchandra, Instability mechanism in a swirl flow combustor: precession of vortex core and influence of density gradient, ASME Turbo Expo 2015: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2015) V04AT04A073.Google Scholar
  23. [23]
    P. Weigan et al., Experimental investigations of an oscillating lean premixed CH4/air swirl flame in a gas turbine model combustor, European Combustion Meeting (2005).Google Scholar
  24. [24]
    P. Weigand, W. Meier, X. Duan and M. Aigner, Laser based investigations of thermo-acoustic instabilities in a lean premixed gas turbine model combustor, Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 129 (3) (2006) 664–671.Google Scholar
  25. [25]
    W. Meier et al., Detailed characterization of the dynamics of thermoacoustic pulsations in a lean premixed swirl flame, Combustion and Flame, 150 (1–2) (2007) 2–26.Google Scholar
  26. [26]
    S. Roux, G. Larigue, T. Poinsot, U. Meier and C. Berat, Studies of mean and unsteady flow in swirled combustor using experiments, acoustic analysis and Large Eddy Simulations, Combustion and Flame, 141 (1–2) (2005) 40–54.Google Scholar
  27. [27]
    J. Galpin et al., Large Eddy Simulation of a fuel lean premixed turbulent swirl burner, Combustion and Flame, 155 (1) (2008) 247–266.Google Scholar
  28. [28]
    B. Fiorina et al., A filtered tabulated chemistry model for LES of premixed combustion, Combustion and Flame, 157 (3) (2010) 465–475.Google Scholar
  29. [29]
    V. Moureau, P. Domingo and L. Vervisch, From largeeddy simulation to direct numerical simulation of a lean premixed swirl flame: Filtered laminar flame-pdf modeling, Combustion and Flame, 158 (7) (2011) 1340–1357.Google Scholar
  30. [30]
    P. Wolf et al., Massively parallel LES of azimuthal thermoacoustic instabilities in annular gas turbines, Comptes Rendus Mécanique, 337 (6–7) (2009) 385–394.Google Scholar
  31. [31]
    G. Lartigue, U. Meier and C. Berat, Experimental and numerical investigation of self-excited combustion oscillations in a scaled gas turbine combustor, Applied Thermal Engineering, 24 (11) (2004) 1583–1592.Google Scholar
  32. [32]
    S. Roux, G. Lartigue, T. Poinsot, U. Merier and C. Berat, Studies of mean and unsteady flow in a swirled combustor using experiments, acoustic analysis and large eddy simulation, Combustion and Flame, 141 (1–2) (2004) 40–54.Google Scholar
  33. [33]
    B. Franzelli, E. Riber, M. Sanjose and T. Poinsot, A twostep chemical scheme for Large Eddy Simulation of kerosene-air flames, Combustion and Flame, 157 (7) (2010) 1364–1373.Google Scholar
  34. [34]
    B. Franzelli, E. Riber, L. Y. M. Gicquel and T. Poinsot, Large Eddy simulation of combustion instabilities in a lean partially premixed swirled flame, Combustion and Flame, 159 (2) (2012) 621–637.Google Scholar
  35. [35]
    D. G. Goodwin, Cantera C++ users guide, (2002).Google Scholar
  36. [36]
    M. L. Shur, P. R. Spalart, M. K. Strelets and A. K. Travin, A hybrid RANS-LES approach with delayed-DES and wall-modelled LES capabilities, International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 29 (6) (2008) 1638–1649.Google Scholar
  37. [37]
    J. Smagorinsky, General circulation experiments with the primitive equations: I. The basic experiment, General Circulation Experiments with the Primitive Equations, 91 (1963) 99–164.Google Scholar
  38. [38]
    U. Piomelli, P. Moin and J. H. Ferziger, Model consistency in Large-Eddy Simulation of turbulent channel flow, Physics of Fluids, 31 (1988) 1884–1894.Google Scholar
  39. [39]
    A. M. Steinberg, C. M. Arndt and W. Meier, Parametric study of vortex structures and their dynamics in swirl-stabilized combustion, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 34 (2) (2013) 3117–3125.Google Scholar
  40. [40]
    Z. Wang, X. Li and Z. Feng, Interaction between precessing vortex core and thermoacoustic coupling in a lab-scale lean premixed gas turbine combustor: Numerical simulation studies, ASME Turbo Expo (2017) V04AT04A014.Google Scholar
  41. [41]
    K. Oberleithner, S. Terhaar, L. Rukes and C. O. Paschereit, Why nonuniform density suppresses the precessing vortex core, Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 135 (12) (2013) 121506.Google Scholar
  42. [42]
    S. Terhaar, K. Oberleithner and C. Paschereit, Key parameters governing the precessing vortex core in reacting flows: An experimental and analytical study, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 35 (3) (2015) 3347–3354.Google Scholar
  43. [43]
    B. M. Cetegen, Scalar mixing in the field of a gaseous laminar line vortex, Experiments in Fluids, 40 (6) (2006) 967–976.Google Scholar
  44. [44]
    P. Flohr and J. C. Vassilicos, Accelerated scalar dissipation in a vortex, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 348 (1997) 295–317.MathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  45. [45]
    K. Bajer, A. P. Bassom and A. D. Gilbert, Accelerated diffusion in the centre of a vortex, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 437 (2001) 395–411.MathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhenlin Wang
    • 1
  • Xiangsheng Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhenping Feng
    • 1
  • Zhao Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of TurbomachineryXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

Personalised recommendations