Forcing pulsations by means of a siren for gas turbine applications

Fabrice Giuliani*, Markus Stütz, Nina Paulitsch, Lukas Andracher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A siren is a robust fast-valve that generates effective flow pulsations and powerful noise levels under well-controlled conditions. It operates under the inlet flow conditions of a gas turbine combustor. Its principle is based on a sonic air jet periodically sheared by a cogged wheel rotating at a given speed. It is used as an alternative to loudspeakers in combustion laboratories when the use of these is made difficult by aggressive flow conditions, such as hot air under pressure, possibly containing impurities. It is also a serious candidate as an effective flow actuator to be deployed on power gas turbine fleets. The authors have gathered more than twenty years of knowledge on siren technology. This pulsator was originally developed for research on thermoacoustics. By scanning through a given frequency range, one detects the acoustic resonance of specific parts of the combustor assembly, or possibly triggers a combustion instability during a sensitivity analysis of a flame to small perturbations. In 2010, Giuliani et al. developed a novel siren model with the capacity to vary the amplitude of pulsation independently from the frequency. In this contribution, the physics, the metrics, and the resulting parameters of the pulsator are discussed. Technical solutions are unveiled about visiting large frequency ranges (currently 6 kHz) and achieving elevated pressure fluctuations (150 dB SPL proven, possibly up to 155 dB SPL) with a compact device. A multimodal excitation is available with this technology, one idea being to dissipate the acoustic energy on nearby peaks. The contribution ends with a summary of the applications performed so far and the perspective of an industrial application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalInternational Journal of Turbomachinery, Propulsion and Power
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Calibration
  • Combustion instabilities
  • Flow control
  • Forcing
  • Siren

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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