This paper describes a study of the fundamental flame dynamic processes that control bluff body-stabilized combustion of liquid fuel with low dilatation. Specifically, flame oscillations due to asymmetric vortex shedding downstream of a bluff body (i.e., the Be´nard/von-Ka´rma´n vortex street) were characterized in an effort to identify the fundamental processes that most affect the intensity of these oscillations. For this purpose, the spatial and temporal distributions of the combustion process heat release were characterized over a range of inlet velocities, temperatures, and overall fuel-air ratios in a single flame holder combustion channel with full optical access to the flame. A stream of hot preheated air was supplied to the bluff body using a preburner, and Jet-A fuel was injected across the heated gas stream from discrete fuel injectors integrated within the bluff body. The relative amplitudes, frequencies, and phase of the sinusoidal flame oscillations were characterized by Fourier analysis of high-speed movies of the flame. The amplitudes of the flame oscillations were generally found to increase with global equivalence ratio, reaching a maximum just before rich blowout. Comparison of the flame dynamics to the time-averaged spatial heat release distribution revealed that the intensity of the vortex shedding decreased as a larger fraction of the combustion process heat release occurred in the shear layers surrounding the recirculation zone of the bluff body. Furthermore, a complete transition of the vortex shedding and consequent flame stabilization from asymmetric to symmetric modes was clearly observed when the inlet temperature was reduced from 850°C to 400°C (and hence, significantly increasing the flame dilatation ratio from Tb/Tu ∼ 2.3 to 3.7).

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