Combustion produces more than 80 percent of the world’s energy. This will continue for a long time as the global energy growth remains much larger than what new renewable energies can provide. Our civilization must allow the growth of combustion sources but, at the same time, keep global warming as well as pollution under control. Science has a key role in this scenario: it must optimize combustion systems far beyond the present state of the art. To do this, one promising path is to use High Performance Computation to compute and optimize combustors before they are built. This talk focuses on aerospace propulsion where optimization often leads to the occurrence of instabilities where combustion couples with acoustics, leading to unacceptable oscillations (the most famous example is the Apollo engine which required 1330 full scale tests to reach acceptable oscillation levels). The talk will show how simulation is used to control these problems, in real gas turbine engines and in rocket engines.
Thierry Poinsot is a research director at IMFT CNRS, head of the CFD group at CERFACS, senior research fellow at Stanford University, and consultant for various companies. His group has contributed a significant body of recent research in the field of LES of turbulent combustion in gas turbines. He teaches numerical methods and combustion in many schools and universities worldwide. He has authored more than 200 papers in refereed journals and 250 communications. He is the author of the textbook “Theoretical and numerical combustion” with Dr D. Veynante and is the editor of “Combustion and Flame”. In 2017, he received the Zeldovich Gold medal of the Combustion Institute. He also gave the prestigious Hottel plenary lecture at the last Symposium on Combustion in Seoul (2016).