Damping of thermoacoustically induced pressure pulsations in combustion chambers is a major focus of gas turbine operation. Conventional Helmholtz resonators are an excellent means to attenuate thermoacoustic instabilities in gas turbines. Usually, however, the damping optimum is in a narrow frequency band at one operating condition. The work presented here deals with a modification of the basic Helmholtz resonator design over-coming this drawback. It consists of a damper body housing separated volumes that are connected to each other. Adequate adjustment of the governing parameters results in a broadband damping characteristic for low frequencies. In this way, changes in operating conditions and engine-to-engine variations involving shifts in the combustion pulsation frequency can conveniently be addressed. Genetic algorithms and optimization strategies are used to derive these parameters in a multi-dimensional parameter space. The novel damper concept is described in more detail and compared with cold-flow experiments. In order to validate the performance under realistic conditions, the new broadband dampers were implemented in a full-scale test engine. Pulsation amplitudes could be reduced by more than 80%. In addition, it is shown that due to sophisticated damper placement in the engine two unstable modes can be addressed simultaneously. Application of the damper concept allowed to considerably increase the engine operating regime and finally to reduce NOx emissions by 55%. Predictions obtained with the physics-based model excellently agree with experimental results for all tested damper geometries, bias flows, excitation amplitudes, and most important with the measurements in the engine.

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