Purdue-University-COE_ME_PhD_Thesis-VeeraraghavaRajuHasti.pdf (11.82 MB)


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posted on 06.12.2019 by Veeraraghava Raju Hasti

The main accomplishments of this research are

(1) developed a high fidelity computational methodology based on large eddy simulation to capture lean blowout (LBO) behaviors of different fuels;

(2) developed fundamental insights into the combustion processes leading to the flame blowout and fuel composition effects on the lean blowout limits;

(3) developed artificial intelligence-based models for early detection of the onset of the lean blowout in a realistic complex combustor.

The methodologies are demonstrated by performing the lean blowout (LBO) calculations and statistical analysis for a conventional (A-2) and an alternative bio-jet fuel (C-1).

High-performance computing methodology is developed based on the large eddy simulation (LES) turbulence models, detailed chemistry and flamelet based combustion models. This methodology is employed for predicting the combustion characteristics of the conventional fuels and bio-derived alternative jet fuels in a realistic gas turbine engine. The uniqueness of this methodology is the inclusion of as-it-is combustor hardware details such as complex hybrid-airblast fuel injector, thousands of tiny effusion holes, primary and secondary dilution holes on the liners, and the use of highly automated on the fly meshing with adaptive mesh refinement. The flow split and mesh sensitivity study are performed under non-reacting conditions. The reacting LES simulations are performed with two combustion models (finite rate chemistry and flamelet generated manifold models) and four different chemical kinetic mechanisms. The reacting spray characteristics and flame shape are compared with the experiment at the near lean blowout stable condition for both the combustion models. The LES simulations are performed by a gradual reduction in the fuel flow rate in a stepwise manner until a lean blowout is reached. The computational methodology has predicted the fuel sensitivity to lean blowout accurately with correct trends between the conventional and alternative bio-jet fuels. The flamelet generated manifold (FGM) model showed 60% reduction in the computational time compared to the finite rate chemistry model.

The statistical analyses of the results from the high fidelity LES simulations are performed to gain fundamental insights into the LBO process and identify the key markers to predict the incipient LBO condition in swirl-stabilized spray combustion. The bio-jet fuel (C-1) exhibits significantly larger CH2O concentrations in the fuel-rich regions compared to the conventional petroleum fuel (A-2) at the same equivalence ratio. It is observed from the analysis that the concentration of formaldehyde increases significantly in the primary zone indicating partial oxidation as we approach the LBO limit. The analysis also showed that the temperature of the recirculating hot gases is also an important parameter for maintaining a stable flame. If this temperature falls below a certain threshold value for a given fuel, the evaporation rates and heat release rated decreases significantly and consequently leading to the global extinction phenomena called lean blowout. The present study established the minimum recirculating gas temperature needed to maintain a stable flame for the A-2 and C-1 fuels.

The artificial intelligence (AI) models are developed based on high fidelity LES data for early identification of the incipient LBO condition in a realistic gas turbine combustor under engine relevant conditions. The first approach is based on the sensor-based monitoring at the optimal probe locations within a realistic gas turbine engine combustor for quantities of interest using the Support Vector Machine (SVM). Optimal sensor locations are found to be in the flame root region and were effective in detecting the onset of LBO ~20ms ahead of the event. The second approach is based on the spatiotemporal features in the primary zone of the combustor. A convolutional autoencoder is trained for feature extraction from the mass fraction of the OH ( data for all time-steps resulting in significant dimensionality reduction. The extracted features along with the ground truth labels are used to train the support vector machine (SVM) model for binary classification. The LBO indicator is defined as the output of the SVM model, 1 for unstable and 0 for stable. The LBO indicator stabilized to the value of 1 approximately 30 ms before complete blowout.


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Jay P. Gore

Additional Committee Member 2

Robert P. Lucht

Additional Committee Member 3

Gregory A. Blaisdell

Additional Committee Member 4

Li Qiao