Knowledge of the effects of inlet velocity and inlet equivalence ratio fluctuations on the rate of heat release in lean premixed gas turbine combustors is essential for predicting combustor instability characteristics. This information is typically obtained from independent velocity-forced and fuel-forced flame transfer function measurements, where the global chemiluminescence intensity is used as a measure of the flame’s overall rate of heat release. The flame in an actual lean premixed combustor is referred to as a technically premixed flame and is exposed to both velocity and equivalence ratio fluctuations. Under these conditions the chemiluminescence intensity does not provide a reliable measure of the flame’s rate of heat release. The objective of this work is to experimentally assess the validity of a technique for making heat release rate measurements in technically premixed flames based on the linear superposition of fuel-forced and velocity-forced flame transfer function measurements. In the absence of a technique for directly measuring the heat release rate fluctuations in an air-forced technically premixed, the heat release reconstruction is validated indirectly by comparing measured to reconstructed chemiluminescence intensity fluctuations. Results are reported for a range of operating conditions and forcing frequencies which demonstrate the capabilities and limitations of this technique. A variation of this technique, referred to as a reverse reconstruction, is proposed which does not require a measurement of the fuel-forced flame transfer function. The air-forced flame transfer function gain and phase obtained using the reverse reconstruction technique are presented and compared to the results from the direct reconstruction technique.

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