The flame transfer function in a premixed gas turbine combustor is experimentally determined. The fuel (natural gas) is premixed with air upstream of a choked inlet to combustor. Therefore, the input to the flame transfer function is the imposed velocity fluctuations of the fuel/air mixture without equivalence ratio fluctuations. The inlet-velocity fluctuations are achieved by a variable-speed siren over the forcing frequency of 75–280 Hz and measured using a hot-wire-anemometer at the inlet to the combustor. The output function (heat release) is determined using chemiluminescence measurement from the whole flame. Flame images are recorded to understand how the flame structure plays a role in the global heat release response of flame to the inlet-velocity perturbation. The results show that the gain and phase of the flame transfer function depend on flame structure as well as the frequency and magnitude of inlet-velocity modulation and can be generalized in terms of the relative length scale of flame to convection length scale of inlet-velocity perturbation, which is represented by a Strouhal number. Non-linear flame response is characterized by a periodic vortex shedding from shear layer and the non-linearity occurs at lower magnitude of inlet-velocity fluctuation as the modulation frequency increases. However, for a given modulation frequency, the flame structure does not affect the magnitude of inlet-velocity fluctuation at which the non-linearity starts.

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