IIT-Madras Pressure Oscillation Software Goes Far | Chennai News

CHENNAI: Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, researchers have developed software to predict the oscillation of pressure as well as its amplitude or strength in advance to adopt measures to control them. The software, which operates on data acquired during stable operating conditions of the combustion chambers, has been tested and commercialized.
Induja Pavithran, an interdisciplinary doctoral student and one of the researchers, said these pressure oscillations, which are often self-sustaining, can even be 100% higher than the average pressure. They can be powerful enough to cause violent vibrations and damage engines, electronics and navigational components.
“We call this oscillation thermoacoustic instability. What we’ve done is predict this instability well in advance – when it’s going to happen and how strong it will be – without operating under these conditions. With all our findings and data , we created a standalone application, which was released,” she said.
The researchers said their software application could save gas turbine manufacturers billions of rupees as they run engines in lean conditions with more air and less fuel, which is more susceptible to oscillations.
With the software, Professor RI Sujith, D Srinivasan Chair Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, said: “Industrial gas turbine manufacturers can use this method to estimate amplitude, even without approaching the “thermoacoustic instability. The prediction can be made well in advance without exposing the combustion chamber to large amplitudes and endangering it.”
Researchers said it was such combustion instabilities in the F-1 rocket engine that initially hampered Nasa’s Apollo program, and engineers made changes to the design or fuel path on the basis of trial and error. “Recently, there has been a lot of research to address this oscillation problem. One is early warning or prediction. The other is passive control measures like a slight change in design,” said Researchers.

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