Combustion Stability in Complex Engineering Flows

PI Name: 
Lee Shunn
PI Email:
Cascade Technologies, Inc.
Allocation Program: 
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
35 Million
Research Domain: 

Many industrial combustion systems are subject to instabilities that complicate operations and present cumbersome limitations to safety and efficiency. Since unstable combustion can lead to intense pressure fluctuations and increased heat transfer to combustor surfaces, the consequences are often problematic and in extreme cases can result in structural damage.

This project intends to numerically reproduce common combustion instabilities to better understand physical mechanisms behind their generation and to develop strategies to eliminate or control them. 

The researchers will develop and validate a high-fidelity large eddy simulation (LES) combustion model for accurately predicting unsteady combustion problems based on the flamelet/progress-variable (FPV) approach of Pierce and Moin (2004). The LES results will contribute to a more thorough understanding of combustion physics in systems that are prone to instability-induced failures.

Steady and unsteady FPV models will be tested and compared and the effects of turbulent wall models and non-adiabatic conditions will be evaluated. Simulation results will be used to create a high-quality numerical database for assessment of industrial combustor performance and evaluation of lower-fidelity prediction tools.

Successful, high-fidelity simulations of these scenarios will help build the scientific insight and understanding necessary to engineer practical solutions to the ubiquitous challenges of combustion instabilities.