Particle image velocimetry in gas turbine combustor flow fields
Current and future legislation demands ever decreasing levels of pollution from gas turbine engines, and with combustor performance playing a critical role in resultant emissions, a need exists to develop a greater appreciation of the fundamental causes of unsteadiness. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) provides a platform to enable such investigations. This thesis presents the development of PIV measurement methodologies for highly turbulent flows. An appraisal of these techniques applied to gas turbine combustors is then given, finally allowing a description of the increased understanding of the underlying fluid dynamic processes within combustors to be provided. Through the development of best practice optimisation procedures and correction techniques for the effects of sub-grid filtering, high quality PN data has been obtained. Time average statistical data at high spatial resolution has been collected and presented for generic and actual combustor geometry providing detailed validation of the turbulence correction methods developed, validation data for computational studies, and increased understanding of flow mechanisms. These data include information not previously available such as turbulent length scales. Methodologies developed for the analysis of instantaneous PIV data have also allowed the identification of transient flow structures not seen previously because they are invisible in the time average. Application of a new `PDF conditioning' technique has aided the explanation of calculated correlation functions: for example, bimodal primary zone recirculation behaviour and jet misalignments were explained using these techniques. Decomposition of the velocity fields has also identified structures present such as jet shear layer vortices, and through-port swirling motion. All of these phenomena are potentially degrading to combustor performance and may result in flame instability, incomplete combustion, increased noise and increased emissions.