Flame flashback has been one of the major instability problems in premixed gas turbine combustion with the potential to cause considerable damage to the combustion system hardware in addition to significant increase in pollutant levels. Swirl combustion has been proven as an effective flame stabilizer over a wide range of operation conditions, although swirling systems can be prone to various types of flashback under fuel premixed conditions. Unfortunately, using methodologies for the mitigation of one flashback mechanism will lead to another one in these systems. Therefore, this paper focuses on improving Boundary Layer Flashback (BLF) while trying to mitigate Combustion Induced Vortex Breakdown (CIVB) in a medium swirl combustion system. A new technique inspired by Biomimetic Engineering has been developed to use micro-surfaces for this aim. The use of these biologically designed shapes for successful flow stabilisation allows improved control of the boundary layer, thus reducing outflow drag while resisting the random propagation of flashback. Therefore, boundary layer flashback resistance using this concept was investigated numerically and experimentally in a 150 kW tangential swirl burner to determine the effects of using a micro-surface in swirling flows with and without central air injection. Various techniques were used, including Hot Wire Anemometry, LDA measurements, LES CFD, and RANS CFD. The results showed enhancement of the system resistance to boundary layer flashback, and a new combustion stability map was generated with a wider operational region when using central injection combined with micro-surfaces, thus avoiding two types of flashback mechanisms, i.e. BLF and CIVB.

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