Smart combustors

This seminar will review the state of the art of active control of gas turbine combustors processes. The seminar will first discuss recently developed approaches for active control of detrimental combustion instabilities by use of 'fast' injectors that modulate the fuel injection rate at the frequency of the instability and appropriate phase and gain. Next, the paper discusses two additional approaches for damping of combustion instabilities; i.e., active modification of the combustion process characteristics and open loop modulation of the fuel injection rate at frequencies that differ from the instability frequency. The second part of the seminar will discuss active control of lean blowout in combustors that burn fuel in a lean premixed mode of combustion to reduce NOx emissions. This discussion will describe recent developments of optical and acoustic sensing techniques that employ sophisticated data analysis approaches to detect the presence of lean blowout precursors in the measured data. It will be shown that this approach can be used to determine in advance the onset of lean blowout and that the problem can be prevented by active control of the relative amounts of fuel supplied to the main, premixed, combustion region and a premixed pilot flame. The will close with a discussion of research needs, with emphasis on the integration of utilized active control and health monitoring and prognostication systems into a single combustor control system