For velocity sensitive premixed flames, intrinsic thermoacoustic (ITA) feedback results from flow-flame-acoustic interactions as follows: perturbations of velocity upstream of the flame result in modulations of the heat release rate, which in turn generate acoustic waves that travel in the downstream as well as the upstream direction. The latter perturb again the upstream velocity, and thus close the ITA feedback loop. This feedback mechanism exhibits resonance frequencies that are not related to acoustic eigenfrequencies of a combustor and generates — in additional to acoustic modes — so-called ITA modes. In this work spectral distributions of the sound pressure level (SPL) observed in a perfectly premixed, swirl stabilized combustion test rig are analyzed. Various burner configurations and operating points are investigated. Spectral peaks in the SPL data for stable as well as for unstable cases are interpreted with the help of a newly developed simple criterion for the prediction of burner intrinsic ITA modes. This criterion extends the known −π measure for the flame transfer function (FTF) by including the burner acoustic. This way, the peaks in the SPL spectra are identified to correspond to either ITA or acoustic modes. It is found that ITA modes are prevalent in this particular combustor. Their frequencies change significantly with the power rating (bulk flow velocity) and the axial position of the swirler, but are insensitive to changes in the length of the combustion chamber. It is argued that the resonance frequencies of the ITA feedback loop are governed by convective time scales. For that reason, they arise at rather low frequencies, which scale with the bulk flow velocity.

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