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About this book

The book reports on the latest theoretical and experimental findings in the field of active flow and combustion control. It covers new developments in actuator technology and sensing, in robust and optimal open- and closed-loop control, as well as in model reduction for control, constant volume combustion and dynamic impingement cooling. The chapters reports oncutting-edge contributions presented during the fourth edition of the Active Flow and Combustion Control conference, held in September 19 to 21, 2018 at the Technische Universität Berlin, in Germany. This conference, as well as the research presented in the book, have been supported by the collaborative research center SFB 1029 on “Substantial efficiency increase in gas turbines through direct use of coupled unsteady combustion and flow dynamics”, funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation). It offers a timely guide for researchers and practitioners in the field of aeronautics, turbomachinery, control and combustion.

Table of Contents


Active Flow Control


Sparse Model of the Lift Gains of a Circulation Control Wing with Unsteady Coanda Blowing

The present study investigates and models the lift gains and losses generated by the superposition of a periodic actuation component onto a steady component on an airfoil with a highly deflected Coanda flap. The periodic actuation is provided by two synchronized specially-designed valves that deliver actuation frequencies up to 30 Hz and actuation amplitudes up to 20% of the mean blowing intensity. The lift gains/losses response surface is modeled using a data-driven sparse identification approach. The results clearly demonstrate the benefits of superimposing a periodic component onto the steady actuation component for a separated or partially-attached flow, where up to \(\varDelta C_l=0.47\) lift increase is achieved. On the other hand, this same superimposition for an attached flow is detrimental to the lift, with up to \(\varDelta C_l=-0.3\) lift reduction compared to steady actuation with similar blowing intensity is observed.
Richard Semaan, M. Yosef El Sayed, Rolf Radespiel

Unsteady Roll Moment Control Using Active Flow Control on a Delta Wing

A feedforward controller is designed to attenuate the roll moment coefficients produced by forced roll motion of a delta-wing type model. Active flow control effectors in the form of variable strength pneumatic slot-jets are located along the trailing edge of the model. The control effectors produce a roll moment coefficient proportional to the momentum coefficient. Direct measurements of the roll moment are made with the model in a wind tunnel. Black-box models for the plant and disturbance are identified, and used in the design of the feedforward controller. The effectiveness of the feedforward controller in attenuating disturbance roll moments produced by forced roll maneuvers is evaluated with periodic and pseudo-random maneuvers. Near the design point of the for the controller the root-mean-square value of the net roll moment is four times smaller than the roll moment without control.
Xiaowei He, Mathieu Le Provost, Xuanhong An, David R. Williams

Implementing Rotating Stall Control in a Radial Diffuser Using Microjet Arrays

This study is part of our effort to implement and refine microjet-based flow control in realistic and challenging applications. Our goal is to reduce/eliminate rotating stall in the radial diffuser of a production compressor used in commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, using microjet arrays. We systematically characterize the flow using pressure and velocity field measurements. At low load conditions, the flow is clearly stalled over a range of RPM where the presence of two rotating stall cells was documented. Circular microjet arrays were integrated in the diffuser and the flow response to actuation was examined. The array closest to the initiation of stall cells was most effective in reattaching the flow. Control led to a very significant increase in the stall margin, reducing the minimum operational mass flow rate to 14% of the design flow rate, half of the original 28% flow rate before microjet control was implemented. The results will show that the parameters found be most effective in the simple configurations proved to be near-optimal for the present surge control application in a much more complex geometry. This provides us confidence that the lessons learned from prior studies can be extended to more complex configurations.
Jennifer Gavin, Erik Fernandez, Prabu Sellappan, Farrukh S. Alvi, William M. Bilbow, Sun Lin Xiang

High Frequency Boundary Layer Actuation by Fluidic Oscillators at High Speed Test Conditions

Detailed investigations of high frequency pulsed blowing and the interaction with the boundary layer at high speed test conditions were performed on a flat plate with pressure gradient. This experimental testbed features the imposed suction side flow of an aerodynamically highly loaded low pressure turbine profile. For actuation, a newly developed coupled fluidic oscillator with an independent mass flow and frequency characteristic was tested successfully. Several oscillator operating points were investigated at one turbine profile equivalent operating point with Reynolds number of 70,000, theoretical outflow Mach number of 0.6, and an inflow free stream turbulence level of 4%. The examined frequency range was between 6.5 and 7.5 kHz and the actuation mass flow rates were varied between 0.68% and 1.32% of the overall passage mass flow. As a result, the flow separation and transition can be controlled and the suction side profile losses even halved. Differences in the interaction with the boundary layer of the different oscillator operating points are also presented and discussed.
Valentin Bettrich, Martin Bitter, Reinhard Niehuis

Model Predictive Control of Ginzburg-Landau Equation

This work explores the realization of model predictive control (MPC) design to an important problem of vortex shedding phenomena in fluid flow. The setting of vortex shedding phenomena is represented by a Ginzburg-Landau (GL) equation model and leads to the mathematical representation given by complex infinite dimensional parabolic PDEs. The underlying GL model is considered within the boundary control setting and the modal representation is considered to obtain discrete infinite dimensional system representation which is used in the model predictive control design. The model predictive control design accounts for optimal stabilization of the unstable GL equation model, and for the naturally present input constraints and/or state constraints. The feasibility of the optimization based model predictive controller is ensured through a large enough prediction horizon. The subsequent feasibility is ensured in a disturbance free model setting. The applicability of an easily realizable discrete controller design is demonstrated using simulation with known parameters from the literature.
Mojtaba Izadi, Charles R. Koch, Stevan S. Dubljevic

A Qualitative Comparison of Unsteady Operated Compressor Stator Cascades with Active Flow Control

Currently, the influence and scaling of active flow control by means of pulsed jet actuators applied to a two-dimensional compressor cascade flow are well understood. However, the presence of a transverse pressure gradient in a 3D annular cascade configuration causes additional effects which need a more profound consideration. The objective of this study is to compare results from the linear cascade setup to the annular one and transfer the AFC technology respectively.
Marcel Staats, Jan Mihalyovics, Dieter Peitsch

Transitioning Plasma Actuators to Flight Applications

Pulse-modulated dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators are applied to the problem of flow separation on a Hermes 450 unmanned air vehicle V-tail panel. Risk-reduction airfoil experiments were conducted followed by full-scale wind tunnel tests. Silicone-rubber based actuators were calibrated and subsequently retrofitted to both the airfoil and the panel. A lightweight (1 kg), flightworthy high-voltage generator was used to drive the actuators. Airfoil and full-scale panel wind tunnel experiments showed a mild sensitivity to actuation reduced frequencies and duty cycles. On the panel, actuation produced a significant effect on post-stall control authority: for \(17^{\circ }<\alpha <22^{\circ }\) a 100% increase in the post-stall lift coefficient was achieved; leading edge separation was prevented up to angles of attack of 30\(^{\circ }\); and hysteresis was virtually eliminated. Future research will focus on integrating the actuators into the panel geometry, implementing thicker dielectric materials and flight-testing.
David Greenblatt, David Keisar, David Hasin

Combustion Control


Effect of the Switching Times on the Operating Behavior of a Shockless Explosion Combustor

In the past, a wide range of investigations are made in order to increase the efficiency gain in gas turbines by using constant volume combustion. In comparison to detonation-based concepts, such as pulse detonation engine and rotation detonation engine, a new promising way was proposed by Klein and Paschereit and firstly assessed by Bobusch et al. (Combust Sci Technol 186(10–11):1680–1689 (2014), [1]), the so-called shockless explosion combustion (SEC). The principle is based on a quasi-homogeneous auto-ignition process that leads to an approximate constant volume combustion (aCVC). In order to achieve a quasi-homogeneous auto-ignition, it is necessary to achieve constant ignition delay times along the combustor. The combustion process in the SEC is similar to the one in internal combustion engines, namely Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI). This paper focuses on the use of wastegates to actively control filling and flow motion in the combustor dedicated to perform quasi-homogeneous auto-ignition. The results clearly show the ability to actively control the fuel distribution and purging time in the combustor which is an important step in the evolution of the SEC.
Fatma C. Yücel, Fabian Völzke, Christian O. Paschereit

Part Load Control for a Shockless Explosion Combustion Cycle

Since a significant increase in the efficiency of conventional gas turbines is unlikely due to various reasons, new concepts are needed. One option is to redesign the thermodynamic process itself. Replacing the constant pressure combustion with constant volume combustion (CVC) offers such an increase in efficiency. A promising new process that approximates constant volume combustion is the so-called shockless explosion combustion (SEC). SEC utilizes a homogeneous auto-ignition inside a combustion tube to avoid gas expansion during combustion. An acoustic interaction within the tube is exploited to ensure a self-sustained cyclic operation. For this, chemical and acoustic time-scales have to match. As this is impossible under ambient pressure conditions, for which SEC has been tested experimentally, this study focuses on simulations that mimic the situation of elevated pressure to design a controller. Herein, a control system is introduced within the numerical simulation of SEC that is capable of driving the process to different operating points. It expands on an iterative learning control from recent publications, which adjusts ignition time over the length of the tube. The control system proposed here can be used to realize a part load operation within the observed simulation.
Florian Arnold, Giordana Tornow, Rudibert King

Knock Control in Shockless Explosion Combustion by Extension of Excitation Time

Shockless Explosion Combustion is a novel constant volume combustion concept with an expected efficiency increase compared to conventional gas turbines. However, Shockless Explosion Combustion is prone to knocking because it is based on autoignition. This study investigates the potential of prolonging the excitation time of the combustible mixture by dilution with exhaust gas and steam to suppress detonation formation and mitigate knocking. Analyses of the characteristic chemical time scales by zero-dimensional reactor simulations show that the excitation time can be prolonged by dilution such that it exceeds the ignition delay time perturbation caused by a difference in initial temperature. This may suppress the formation of a detonation because less energy is fed into the pressure wave running ahead of the reaction front. One-dimensional simulations are performed to investigate reaction front propagation from a hot spot with various amounts of dilution. They demonstrate that dilution with exhaust gas or steam suppresses the formation of a detonation compared to the undiluted case, where a detonation ensues from the hot spot.
Lisa Zander, Giordana Tornow, Rupert Klein, Neda Djordjevic

Reduced Order Modeling for Multi-scale Control of Low Temperature Combustion Engines

Internal combustion engines face tightening limits on pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, new solutions for clean combustion have to be found. Low Temperature Combustion is a promising technology in this regard, as it is able to reduce pollutant emissions while increasing the engine’s efficiency. Recent research has shown that closed-loop control manages to stabilize the process. Nevertheless, sensitivity to varying boundary conditions and a narrow operating range remain unfavorable. To investigate new control concepts such as in-cycle feedback, computationally feasible cycle-resolved models become necessary. This work presents a low order model for Gasoline Controlled Auto Ignition (GCAI) that is continuous in time and computes the pressure trace over the entire combustion cycle. A comparison between simulation and measurement supports the suitability of the modeling approach. Furthermore, the model captures the characteristic transition of system dynamics in case GCAI during late combustion.
Eugen Nuss, Dennis Ritter, Maximilian Wick, Jakob Andert, Dirk Abel, Thivaharan Albin

Constant Volume Combustion


The Influence of the Initial Temperature on DDT Characteristics in a Valveless PDC

The detonation velocity and the detonation cell width are determined experimentally as a function of the initial mixing temperature in a valveless pulse detonation combustor (PDC). The initial temperature was varied from 290 K up to 650 K. To shorten the run–up distance to the deflagration–to–detonation transition (DDT), the detonation tube was equipped with six orifice plates which support the flame acceleration. Ionization probes are used to record the combustion event at several axial positions. Sooted foils inside the downstream section of the detonation tube are used to record the imprint of the detonation front and to determine the detonation cell width. It was found that the propagation speed of the detonation front decreases with increasing mixing temperature, which agrees with the theoretical temperature dependence of the CJ–velocity. The detonation cell width decreases linearly for elevated initial temperatures.
Fabian E. Völzke, Fatma C. Yücel, Joshua A. T. Gray, Niclas Hanraths, Christian O. Paschereit, Jonas P. Moeck

Types of Low Frequency Instabilities in Rotating Detonation Combustors

Rotating detonation combustors (RDC) offer a significant prospective increase in stagnation pressure across it owing to the presence of one or more rotating detonation waves spinning inside the combustor at the kilohertz regime. Naturally, considerable research impetus has been directed towards this technology in recent years to understand the driving mechanics to harness the associated potential of pressure gain combustion (PGC). One such area of focus has been the off-design operating modes of these devices which cause a myriad of instabilities. The current paper is focused towards the discussion of one such instability regime—low frequency instabilities (LFI)—in RDCs. We review three types of LFIs in RDCs based on prior findings, and propose mechanisms for the same.
Vijay Anand, Ephraim Gutmark

Influence of Operating Conditions and Residual Burned Gas Properties on Cyclic Operation of Constant-Volume Combustion

The pressure-gain combustion concept is a solution envisioned to increase the thermodynamic efficiency of gas turbines. This article addresses the behaviour of piston-less constant-volume combustion in relevant conditions of engine application. For this purpose, a lab-scale combustion vessel (0.3 L) is run in cyclic operation (10 Hz) with an improved control over the boundary conditions. This facility features the spark-ignited, turbulent combustion of n-decane directly injected in preheated air (423 K, 0.4 MPa), with an overall equivalence ratio of 0.9. Solenoid valves are used to perform the air intake and burnt gas exhaust. A 0D analysis is developed and used to compute the gas thermodynamic evolution based on the experimental pressure traces. The effect of the main operating parameters on the combustion process is discussed: ignition delay, exhaust pressure and wall temperature. The vessel is operated without scavenging, hence the exhaust pressure drives the amount and the temperature of residual burnt gas (16–39% according to the 0D analysis). Highly diluted cycles (exhaust pressure 0.2 MPa) exhibit a higher combustion efficiency, but have a longer combustion duration (3 times more) than those of low dilution (exhaust pressure 0.07 MPa). For a higher wall temperature representative of engine combustor (1000 K), the heat losses are directly reduced, which affects the residual burnt gas properties. This also influences the residual gas temperature (870–1030 K) as well as dilution (10–26%).
Quentin Michalski, Bastien Boust, Marc Bellenoue

Data Assimilation and Model Reduction


Validation of Under-Resolved Numerical Simulations of the PDC Exhaust Flow Based on High Speed Schlieren

Owing to their high thermodynamic efficiency, pulsating combustion cycles have become an attractive option for future gas turbine designs. Yet, their potential gains should not be outweighed by losses due to unsteady pressure wave interactions between engine components. Consequently, the geometric engine design moves into focus. Ideally, one would quickly test several different principal layouts with respect to their qualitative behavior, select the most promising variants and then move on to detailed optimization. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) appears as the methodology of choice for such preparatory testing. Yet, the inevitable geometric complexity of such engines makes fully resolved CFD an arduous and expensive task necessitating computations on top high-performance hardware, even with modern adaptive mesh refinement in place. In the present work we look at the initial flow field of a shock generated by a pulse detonation combustor (PDC) which leaves the combustion chamber and enters the plenum. We provide first indicators, however, that overall mechanical loads, represented by large-scale means of, e.g., mass, energy, and momentum fluxes can be well estimated on the basis of rather coarsely resolved CFD calculations. Comparing high-resolution simulations of the exit of a strong shock from a combustion tube with experimental schlieren photographs, we first establish validity of fully resolved CFD. Next we compare several integral quantities representative of overall mechanical loads with a sequence of successively coarser grid simulations, thereby corroborating that the “quick and dirty” coarse-grained simulations indeed allow for good order of magnitude estimates.
M. Nadolski, M. Rezay Haghdoost, J. A. T. Gray, D. Edgington-Mitchell, K. Oberleithner, R. Klein

On the Loewner Framework for Model Reduction of Burgers’ Equation

This paper addresses issues that originate in the extension of the Loewner framework to compute reduced order models (ROMs) of so-called quadratic-bilinear systems. The latter arise in semi-discretizations of fluid flow problems, such as Burgers’ equation or the Navier-Stokes equations. In the linear case, the Loewner framework is data-driven and constructs a ROM from measurements of the transfer function; it does not explicitly require access to the system matrices, which is attractive in many settings. Research on extending the Loewner framework to quadratic-bilinear systems is ongoing. This paper presents one extension and provides details of its implementation that allow application to large-scale problems. This extension is applied to Burgers’ equation. Numerical results show the potential of the Loewner framework, but also expose additional issues that need to be addressed to make it fully applicable. Possible approaches to deal with some of these issues are outlined.
Athanasios C. Antoulas, Ion Victor Gosea, Matthias Heinkenschloss

Model Reduction for a Pulsed Detonation Combuster via Shifted Proper Orthogonal Decomposition

We consider the problem of finding an optimal data-driven modal decomposition of flows with multiple convection velocities. To this end, we apply the shifted proper orthogonal decomposition (sPOD) which is a recently proposed mode decomposition technique. It overcomes the poor performance of classical methods like the proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) for a class of transport-dominated phenomena with large gradients. This is achieved by identifying the transport directions and velocities and by shifting the modes in space to track the transports. We propose a new algorithm for computing an sPOD which carries out a residual minimization in which the main cost arises from solving a nonlinear optimization problem scaling with the snapshot dimension. We apply the algorithm to snapshot data from the simulation of a pulsed detonation combuster and observe that very few sPOD modes are sufficient to obtain a good approximation. For the same accuracy, the common POD needs ten times as many modes and, in contrast to the sPOD modes, the POD modes do not reflect the moving front profiles properly.
Philipp Schulze, Julius Reiss, Volker Mehrmann

Numerical Aspects in Combustion


Control of Condensed-Phase Explosive Behaviour by Means of Cavities and Solid Particles

Controlling the sensitivity of condensed-phase explosives is a matter of safe handling of the materials and a necessity for efficient blasting. It is known that impurities such as air cavities or solid particles can be used to sensitise the material by reducing the time to ignition. As the ignition of the explosive is a temperature-driven event, analysing the temperature field following the interaction of a shock wave with these impurities gives a measure of the effect of the impurity on the sensitisation of the material. Air cavity collapse in explosives has been extensively studied and recently focus has shifted on the accurate recovery of the temperature field during the collapse process. The interaction of a shock wave with solid particles or with a combination of cavities and particles, has been studied to a lesser extent. In this work, we assess the effect of the different impurities in isolation, in a multi-cavity and a multi-bead configuration and as a combined particle-cavity matrix. Results indicate that the beads have a more subtle effect on the sensitisation of the material, compared to cavities. An informed combination of the two (leading order by cavities and marginal adjustment by particles) could result to a fairly accurate control of the explosive.
Louisa Michael, Nikolaos Nikiforakis

An Open and Parallel Multiresolution Framework Using Block-Based Adaptive Grids

A numerical approach for solving evolutionary partial differential equations in two and three space dimensions on block-based adaptive grids is presented. The numerical discretization is based on high-order, central finite-differences and explicit time integration. Grid refinement and coarsening are triggered by multiresolution analysis, i.e. thresholding of wavelet coefficients, which allow controlling the precision of the adaptive approximation of the solution with respect to uniform grid computations. The implementation of the scheme is fully parallel using MPI with a hybrid data structure. Load balancing relies on space filling curves techniques. Validation tests for 2D advection equations allow to assess the precision and performance of the developed code. Computations of the compressible Navier-Stokes equations for a temporally developing 2D mixing layer illustrate the properties of the code for nonlinear multi-scale problems. The code is open source.
Mario Sroka, Thomas Engels, Philipp Krah, Sophie Mutzel, Kai Schneider, Julius Reiss

A 1D Multi-Tube Code for the Shockless Explosion Combustion

Shockless explosion combustion (SEC) has been suggested by Bobusch et al., CST, 186, 2014, as a new approach towards approximate constant volume combustion for gas turbine applications. The SEC process relies on nearly homogeneous autoignition in a premixed fuel-oxidizer charge and acoustic resonances for cyclic recharge. Operation of a single SEC tube has proven to be rather robust in numerical simulations, provided the flow control assures nearly homogeneous autoignition. Configurations with multiple tubes that fire into a common collector plenum preceding the turbine will be needed, however, to avoid excessive fluctuating thermal and mechanical load on the turbine blades. In such a configuration, the resonating tubes will interact with the volume of the plenum, and proper control of these interactions will be an important part of the engine design process. The present work presents an efficient, rough design tool that simulates the firing of such multi-tube SEC configurations into a torus-shaped turbine plenum. Both the tubes and the plenum are represented by computational quasi-one-dimensional gasdynamics modules implemented in a finite volume code for the reactive Euler equations. Suitable tube-to-plenum coupling conditions based on mass, energy, and plenum-axial momentum conservation represent the gasdynamic interactions of all engine components. First investigations utilising this tool reveal considerable dependence of the SEC-tubes’ operating conditions on the tube radius and length, and on the tubes’ positioning along the plenum torus. The SEC is especially sensitive to the plenum’s radius. Misfiring of one of the tubes does essentially not affect the operation of the others and does not even necessarily lead to a shut-down of the disturbed SEC tube.
Giordana Tornow, Rupert Klein

Unsteady Cooling


Experimental Study on the Alteration of Cooling Effectivity Through Excitation-Frequency Variation Within an Impingement Jet Array with Side-Wall Induced Crossflow

The influence of in-phase variation of the excitation frequency of a 7 by 7 impinging jet array between \(f=0\) and 1000 Hz on the cooling effectivity is investigated experimentally. Liquid crystal thermography is employed to measure a 2-dimensional wall-temperature distribution, which is used to calculate the local Nusselt numbers and evaluate the global and local heat transfer. The cooling effectivity of the dynamic approach is determined by comparison with corresponding steady blowing conditions. The results show that the use of a specific excitation frequency allows a global cooling effectivity increase of more than 50%.
Arne Berthold, Frank Haucke

Effects of Wall Curvature on the Dynamics of an Impinging Jet and Resulting Heat Transfer

The effects of wall curvature on the dynamics of a round subsonic jet impinging on a concave surface are investigated for the first time by direct numerical solution of the compressible Navier-Stokes equations. Impinging jets on curved surfaces are of interest in several applications, such as the impingement cooling of gas turbine blades. The simulation is performed at Reynolds and Mach numbers respectively equal to 3, 300 and 0.8. The impingement wall is kept at a constant temperature, \(80\,\text {K}\) higher than that of the jet at the inlet. The nozzle-to-plate distance (measured along the jet axis) is set to 5D, with D the nozzle diameter. In order to highlight the curvature effects, the present results are compared to a previous study of jet impinging on a flat plate. The specific influence of wall curvature is investigated through a frequency analysis based on discrete Fourier transform and dynamic mode decomposition. We found that the peak frequencies of the heat transfer also dominate the dynamics of primary vortices in the free jet region and secondary vortices produced by the interaction of primary vortices and the target plate. These frequencies are approximately \(30\%\) lower than those found in the reference study of impinging jet on a flat plate. Imperceptible differences were instead found in the time-averaged integral heat transfer.
G. Camerlengo, D. Borello, A. Salvagni, J. Sesterhenn

Map Estimation for Impingement Cooling with a Fast Extremum Seeking Algorithm

In many actively controlled processes, such as active flow or combustion control, a set of actuation parameters has to be specified, ranging from actuation frequency to pulse width to geometrical parameters such as actuator spacing. As a specific example, impingement cooling is considered here. Finding the optimal parameters for impingement cooling with steady-state measurements is a time consuming process because of the necessary time to reach thermal equilibrium. This work presents an algorithm for fast extremum seeking to reduce the amount of time needed. It is inspired by an Extremum Seeking Controller, which is a simple but powerful feedback control technique. The first results using this concept are promising, as the magnitude of the optimal pulse frequency for the cooling efficiency of pulsed impingement jets could be found with sufficient precision in a short period of time. The main advantages of this concept are the simple execution on a test rig, its versatility, and the fact that almost no information about the investigated system is necessary.
Benjamin Fietzke, Matthias Kiesner, Arne Berthold, Frank Haucke, Rudibert King


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