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Thermal and hydrodynamic effects of nanosecond discharges in air and application to plasma-assisted combustion

Abstract : Nanosecond repetitively pulsed (NRP) discharges are being increasingly used in various applications, in particular in plasma-assisted combustion and aerodynamic flow control. First, we studied the thermal and hydrodynamic effects of NRP discharges using quantitative Schlieren measurements and numerical analyses in atmospheric pressure air. The time resolved images show the expansion of the heated gas channel starting from as early as 50 ns after the discharge and the shock-wave propagation from about 500 ns. Gas density profiles simulated in 1-D cylindrical coordinates are used to reconstruct numerical Schlieren images for comparison with experimental ones. We propose an original method to determine the initial gas temperature and the fraction of energy transferred into fast gas heating, using a comparison of the contrast profiles obtained from experimental and numerical Schlieren images. The results show that a significant fraction of the electric energy is converted into gas heating within a few tens of ns. The values range from 25 % at a reduced electric field of 164 Td in air at 300 K to about 75 % at 270 Td in air preheated to 1000 K, which supports the fast heating processes via dissociative quenching of N2(B, C) by molecular oxygen. Second, we provide a database to test the kinetic modeling of lean mixture ignition by NRP discharges. We characterize the initial spark radius and the ignition kernel development at pressures up to 10 bar. Comparisons with a conventional igniter show that better results are obtained with NRP discharges in terms of flame propagation speed, especially at high pressure. The flame speed increases by up to 20 % at 10 bar due to the increased wrinkling of the flame front induced by NRP discharges. Finally, we investigate the dynamic response of a flame to actuation by NRP discharges in a 12-kW bluff-body stabilized burner. The results show a significant reduction in flame lift-off height, within 5 ms after applying the NRP discharges. The mechanism is attributed to the entrainment of the OH radicals and heat towards the shear layer of incoming fresh gases. This opens up new applications in the control of combustion instabilities.
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Da Xu. Thermal and hydrodynamic effects of nanosecond discharges in air and application to plasma-assisted combustion. Other. Ecole Centrale Paris, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013ECAP0076⟩. ⟨tel-00978527⟩

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