Georgia Tech Research Corp.

Project Number

NT43069 5715


Prediction of Combustion Stability and Flashback in Turbines with High-Hydrogen Fuel


Georgia Institute of Technology

Principle Investigator

Tim Lieuwen

Project Dates

3/30/2007 - 3/31/2012

Research Area


Federal Contact

Mark Freeman –

The objective of this project is to improve the current technology in understanding and modeling combustion instabilities, one of the most critical problems associated with burning high-hydrogen fuels in low emissions turbines. Combustion instabilities include damaging pressure oscillations excited by the combustion process. These oscillations cause significant damage in low-emissions turbines every year, resulting in forced outages and broken parts. This project is investigating these problems with a three-pronged approach: experiments, computational kinetic calculations, and analytic modeling. It consists of a collaborative effort between Penn State University and Georgia Tech along with gas turbine manufacturers. Recent accomplishments include:

  1. Performing a detailed analysis of key instability mechanisms controlling heat release response for flames during low-, mid-, and high-frequency instabilities

  2. Developing a model predicting flame response to transverse acoustic instabilities, such as that encountered in annular combustors

  3. Transitioning models into internal instability prediction codes at industrial partners who are using them as part of the process to design the next generation of gas turbines