Quantitative Assessment of Flame Stability Through Image Processing and Spectral Analysis

This paper experimentally investigates two generalized methods, i.e., a simple universal index and oscillation frequency, for the quantitative assessment of flame stability at fossil-fuel-fired furnaces. The index is proposed to assess the stability of flame in terms of its color, geometry, and luminance. It is designed by combining up to seven characteristic parameters extracted from flame images. The oscillation frequency is derived from the spectral analysis of flame radiation signals. The measurements involved in these two methods do not require prior knowledge about fuel property, burner type, and other operation conditions. They can therefore be easily applied to flame stability assessment without costly and complex adaption.

Experiments were carried out on a 9-MW heavy-oil-fired combustion test rig over a wide range of combustion conditions including variations in swirl vane position of the tertiary air, swirl vane position of the secondary air, and the ratio of the primary air to the total air. The impact of these burner parameters on the stability of heavy oil flames is investigated by using the index and oscillation frequency proposed. The experimental results obtained demonstrate the effectiveness of the methods and the importance of maintaining a stable flame for reduced NOₓ emissions. It is envisaged that such methods can be easily transferred to existing flame closed-circuit television systems and flame failure detectors in power stations for flame stability monitoring.