Anisotropic enhancement of turbulence in large-scale, low-intensity turbulent premixed propane–air flames
The density change across premixed flames propagating in turbulent flows modifies the turbulence. The nature of that modification depends on the regime of turbulent combustion, the burner design, the orientation of the turbulent flame and the position within the flame. The present study addresses statistically stationary turbulent combustion in the flame-sheet regime, in which the laminar-flame thickness is less than the Kolmogorov scale, for flames stabilized on a vertically oriented cylindrical burner having fully developed upward turbulent pipe flow upstream from the exit. Under these conditions, rapidly moving wrinkled laminar flamelets form the axisymmetric turbulent flame brush that is attached to the burner exit. Predictions have been made of changes in turbulence properties across laminar flamelets in such situations, but very few measurements have been performed to test the predictions. The present work measures individual velocity changes and changes in turbulence across flamelets at different positions in the turbulent flame brush for three different equivalence ratios, for comparison with theory.
The measurements employ a three-element electrostatic probe (EP) and a two-component laser-Doppler velocimeter (LDV). The LDV measures axial and radial components of the local gas velocity, while the EP, whose three sensors are located in a vertical plane that passes through the burner axis, containing the plane of the LDV velocity components, measures arrival times of flamelets at three points in that plane. From the arrival times, the projection of flamelet orientation and velocity on the plane are obtained. All of the EP and LDV sensors are located within a fixed volume element of about 1 mm diameter to provide local, time-resolved information. The technique has the EP advantages of rapid response and good sensitivity and the EP disadvantages of intrusiveness and complexity of interpretation, but it is well suited to the type of data sought here.
Theory predicts that the component of velocity tangent to the surface of a locally planar flamelet remains constant in passing through the flamelet. The data are consistent with this prediction, within the accuracy of the measurement. The data also indicate that the component of velocity normal to the flamelet, measured with respect to the flamelet, tends to increase in passing through the flamelet, as expected. The flamelets thereby can generate anisotropy in initially isotropic turbulence. They also produce differences in turbulent spectra conditioned on unburnt or burnt gas. Local modifications of turbulence by flamelets thus are demonstrated experimentally. The modifications are quantitatively different at different locations in the turbulent flame brush but qualitatively similar in that the turbulence is enhanced more strongly in the radial direction than in the axial direction at all positions in these flames.(Received August 20 2001)
(Revised January 22 2002)