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Acoustic damping systems for leaner and greener aero gas turbine combustion systems
- Ensuring Rolls-Royce product compliance with future emissions and efficiencies legislation
Research dating back more than a decade has been developed in conjunction with Roll-Royce as the company strives to meet ACARE aircraft emissions targets which require radical changes to combustion systems by 2020.
The challenging legislative targets necessitate a change in combustion system architecture which includes the introduction of lean burn technology. The latter is inherently more thermo-acoustically unstable which can adversely impact on engine performance and structural integrity.
Key to the development of these new greener turbines has been an improved understanding of the fundamental mechanisms by which acoustic energy is absorbed.
In 2008, the unique £3m Unsteady Fluid Mechanics Laboratory opened – providing the research team with the test rigs required to explore novel acoustic damping configurations over the range of atmospheric and temperature conditions generated within an engine.
The work has resulted in novel analytical models for assessing damper system performance which now feature in Rolls-Royce next generation engine design programmes.
The team also developed a novel cooling system which was tested in the Rolls-Royce ANTLE demonstrator engine and is now embedded in all damping designs of this type.
LEANER GREENER ENGINES
The research is an enabler to the introduction of lean burn technology helping Roll-Royce to meet legislative emissions targets, and is guiding the development of next generation engines.
The findings and novel designs have been tested and validated by a range of Rolls-Royce engine programmes.
DISSEMINATION AND PROTECTION
The research has featured in journals recognised as world-leading by industry and academia, and Rolls-Royce has taken out a number of patents to protect the intellectual property it has generated.