Cerfacs Enter the world of high performance ...

The 30 June 2020 at 10h00

PhD defense: Fabien DUPUY – Reduced Order Models and Large Eddy Simulation for Combustion Instabilities in aeronautical Gas Turbines

Marie LABADENS |  Administration meeting room Cerfacs Toulouse (webex) |  


Increasingly stringent regulations as well as environmental concerns have lead gas turbine powered engine manufacturers to develop the current generation of combustors, which feature lower than ever fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. However, modern combustor designs have been shown to be prone to combustion instabilities, where the coupling between acoustics of the combustor and the flame results in large pressure oscillations and vibrations within the combustion chamber. These instabilities can cause structural damages to the engine or even lead to its destruction. At the same time, considerable developments have been achieved in the numerical simulation domain, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has proven capable of capturing unsteady flame dynamics and combustion instabilities for aforementioned engines. Still, even with the current large and fast increasing computing capabilities, time remains the key constraint for these high fidelity yet computationally intensive calculations. Typically, covering the entire range of operating conditions for an industrial engine is still out of reach. In that respect, low order models exist and can be efficient at predicting the occurrence of combustion instabilities, provided an adequate modeling of the flame/acoustics interaction as appearing in the system is available. This essential piece of information is usually recast as the so-called Flame Transfer Function (FTF) relating heat release rate fluctuations to velocity fluctuations at a given point. One way to obtain this transfer function is to rely on analytical models, but few exist for turbulent swirling flames. Another way consists in performing costly experiments or numerical simulations, negating the requested fast prediction capabilities. This thesis therefore aims at providing fast, yet reliable methods to allow for low order combustion instabilities modeling. In that context, understanding the underlying mechanisms of swirling flame acoustic response is also targeted. To address this issue, a novel hybrid approach is first proposed based on a reduced set of high fidelity simulations that can be used to determine input parameters of an analytical model used to express the FTF of premixed swirling flames. The analytical model builds on previous works starting with a level-set description of the flame front dynamics while also accounting for the acoustic-vorticity conversion through a swirler. For such a model, validation is obtained using reacting stationary and pulsed numerical simulations of a laboratory scale premixed swirl stabilized flame. The model is also shown to be able to handle various perturbation amplitudes. At last, 3D high fidelity simulations of an industrial gas turbine powered by a swirled spray flame are performed to determine whether a combustion instability observed in experiments can be predicted using numerical analysis. To do so, a series of forced simulations is carried out in an effort to highlight the importance of the two-phase flow flame response evaluation. In that case, sensitivity to reference velocity perturbation probing positions as well as the amplitude and location of the acoustic perturbation source are investigated. The analytical FTF model derived in the context of a laboratory premixed swirled burner is furthermore gauged in this complex case. Results show that the unstable mode is predicted by the acoustic analysis, but that the flame model proposed needs further improvements to extend its applicability range and thus provide data relevant to actual aero-engines.


Combustion, instabilities, numerical simulation, acoustics, gas turbine


Françoise BAILLOTCORIA, Université de RouenReferee
Sébastien DUCRUIXEM2C, CentraleSupélecReferee
Eric SERREM2P2, Université Aix-MarseilleMember
Thierry SCHULLERInstitut de Mécanique des Fluides de ToulouseMember
Franck NICOUDIMAG, Université de MontpellierMember
Florent LACOMBESafran Aircraft EnginesInvited member
Thierry POINSOTInstitut de Mécanique des Fluides de ToulouseAdvisor


Thierry Poinsot officially entered the French Academy of Sciences

CERFACS |  8 November 2021

Thierry Poinsot officially entered the French Academy of Sciences on October 12. See presentation here :Read more

The AVBP code from CERFACS at the heart of for PRACE projects from the 23rd call

CERFACS |  30 September 2021

Cerfacs is involved in three PRACE projects of the 23rd call for which hour allocation runs from 01/10/2021 to 30/09/2022. Researchers from ECL/LMFA UMR5509 (Ecole Centrale de Lyon) and IMFT (UMR 5502) laboratories have earned projects entirely based on the use of the LES solver developed by Cerfacs AVBP and involve the support of experts from the CFD and COOP teams underling the importance and effectiveness of collaborations between French labs and Cerfacs. Alexis Giauque from ECL/LMFA UMR5509 (Ecole Centrale de Lyon) has obtained not only one but two PRACE projects! The first project LESFAN (RA0101, 30 000 000 CPU hours on Irene/Rome TGCC) is based on the use of AVBP in the turbomachinery version to study the generation of noise by a fan of a real airplane engine. The second, PRACE-EDGES (RA0101, 40 000 000 CPU hours on Irene/Rome TGCC) focuses on LES modeling of dens gas in complex geometries. To do so, the LMFA Team has developed advanced thermodynamic closures in AVBP allowing the direct simulation of such flows. Laurent Selle from IMFT (UMR 5502) has received CPU hours for the GASTON project (RA0061, 30 000 000 CPU hours on Marenostrum BSC) which aims to study the structure of hydrogen flames in porous materials. For this, IMFT and Cerfacs will perform coupled simulations considering the reactive flow with AVBP as well as the conduction in the porous medium with AVTP which is known to play an central role in the flame stabilization process. Carlos Perez Arroyo from IMFT (UMR 5502) received 16 Mh CPU hours on Joliot-Curie Skylake partition to support his project WONDER.Read more