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Method and apparatus for detecting combustion instability in continuous combustion systems

United States Patent

August 29, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
An apparatus and method to sense the onset of combustion stability is presented. An electrode is positioned in a turbine combustion chamber such that the electrode is exposed to gases in the combustion chamber. A control module applies a voltage potential to the electrode and detects a combustion ionization signal and determines if there is an oscillation in the combustion ionization signal indicative of the occurrence of combustion stability or the onset of combustion instability. A second electrode held in a coplanar but spaced apart manner by an insulating member from the electrode provides a combustion ionization signal to the control module when the first electrode fails. The control module broadcasts a notice if the parameters indicate the combustion process is at the onset of combustion instability or broadcasts an alarm signal if the parameters indicate the combustion process is unstable.
Benson; Kelly J. (Fort Collins, CO), Thornton; Jimmy D. (Morgantown, WV), Richards; George A. (Morgantown, WV), Straub; Douglas L. (Morgantown, WV)
Woodward Governor Company (Fort Collins, CO)
10/ 329,664
December 26, 2002
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This invention was made in part with Government support under CRADA No. 02N-050 between Woodward Governor Company and the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.