The present paper addresses real-time prediction of incipient lean blowout (LBO) in partially premixed, liquid-fueled gas turbine combustors. Near-LBO combustion is characterized by the “intensified” low-frequency combustion oscillations, typically below 30 Hz. Two indices, namely the normalized chemiluminescence RMS and the normalized cumulative duration of LBO precursor events, are recommended for LBO prediction. Both indices are associated with the statistical characteristics of the flame structure, which changes from the normal distribution to the Rayleigh distribution at the approach of LBO. Both indices change little within a large range of equivalence ratios and start to shoot up only when LBO is approached. To use the two indices for LBO prediction, one needs to perform a detailed a priori LBO mapping under simulated engine operating conditions. However, the mapping can be done without running the engines very close to LBO.

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