FLOW INHOMOGENEITIES IN A REALISTIC AERONAUTICAL GAS-TURBINE COMBUSTOR: FORMATION, EVOLUTION AND INDIRECT NOISE
Indirect noise generated by the acceleration of combustion inhomogeneities is an important aspect in the design of aeroengines because of its impact on the overall noise emitted by an aircraft and the possible contribution to combustion instabilities. In this study, a realistic rich-quench-lean combustor is numerically investigated, with the objective of quantitatively analyzing the formation and evolution of flow inhomogeneities and determine the level of indirect combustion noise in the nozzle guide vane (NGV). Both entropy and compositional noise are calculated in this work. A high-fidelity numerical simulation of the combustion chamber, based on the Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) approach with the Conditional Moment Closure (CMC) combustion model, is performed. The contribution of the different air streams to the formation of flow inhomogeneity is identified and separated through seven dedicated passive scalars. This pins down the individual contributions of the air streams to combustion inhomogeneity at the combustor’s exit. LES-CMC results are then used to determine the acoustic sources to feed an NGV aeroacoustic model, which outputs the noise generated by entropy and compositional inhomogeneities. Results show that non-negligible fluctuations of temperature and composition reach the combustor’s exit. Combustion inhomogeneities originate both from finite-rate chemistry effects and incomplete mixing. In particular, the role of mixing with dilution and liner air flows on the level of com-bustion inhomogeneities at the combustor’s exit is highlighted. The species that most contribute to indirect noise are identified and the transfer functions of a realistic NGV are computed. The noise level indicates that indirect noise generated by temperature fluctuations is larger that the indirect noise generated by compositional inhomogeneities, although the latter is not negligible and is expected to become louder in supersonic nozzles. It is also shown that relatively small fluctuations of the local flame structure can lead to significant variations of the nozzle transfer function, whose gain increases with the Mach number. This highlights the necessity of an on-line solution of the local flame structure, which is performed in this paper by CMC, for an accurate prediction of the level of compositional noise. This study opens new possibilities for the identification, separation and calculation of the sources of indirect combustion noise in realistic aeronautical gas turbines.