TUM School of Engineering and Design

Associate Professorship of Thermo-Fluid Dynamics

Prof. Wolfgang Polifke, Ph. D.

Research of the TFD group focuses on thermoacoustic combustion instabilities. These impair the security and reliability of gas turbines and rocket motors as well as domestic or industrial burners. In order to analyse and control these instabilities, fluid mechanics, acoustics and combustion science are combined in an interdisciplinary approach with methods of system identification and control theory. Intensive exchange with colleagues from research institutes in- and outside Europe furthers our efforts.

Website: Research at TFD
Contact: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Polifke

Pollution Know-How and Abatement

Combustion of hydrogen from renewable sources is an emerging technology that can replace fossil fuels and so provide carbon-neutral energy. The goal of POLKA is to solve serious technical problems, which are unique to hydrogen combustion: thermoacoustic instabilities and flashback. Thermoacoustic instabilities are large-amplitude pressure oscillations caused by an escalating interaction between the flame and acoustic waves; they tend to occur unexpectedly and cause major hardware damage. Flashback is the dangerous phenomenon of the flame propagating backwards into components not designed for high temperatures. The ultimate vision of POLKA is to create new physical insight and advanced simulation tools, so as to underpin the development of hydrogen-fuelled combustion systems (gas turbines, aero-engines, boilers furnaces, etc).

The methods to be used are a combination of experiments, numerical simulations and analytical techniques. Experimental validation of numerical and analytical results is a high priority. POLKA will train a cohort of 15 ESRs, each enrolled in a 3-year doctoral programme. The research project is divided into 15 interlinked sub-projects, each forming an individual PhD project for an ESR. The ESRs will be equipped with a wide portfolio of skills, including traditional academic research, and also transferable skills in outreach and gender issues. This will be supplemented by a unique integrated training programme in innovation, exploitation and entrepreneurship. Secondments are an important part of the training programme. The ESRs will develop an innovation-oriented mind-set and have excellent career perspectives in the renewable energy sector.

Funding:  European Union's Horizon 2020
Runtime: 02/2019 - 01/2023
Website: Research POLKA
Contact: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Polifke

The overall objective of WP 1 "H2 in gas turbines" in the context of the transition to a new energy system is the further development of DLN (dry-low NOx) combustion systems for high proportions of "green" hydrogen, which is produced via electrolysis of surplus electricity from renewable sources. Given the high proportion of volatile electricity supply from photovoltaic and wind power, load flexibility must be further increased at the simultaneously without violating the NOx emission limits or reducing the reliability or service life of the machines. So-called distributed combustion systems (DCS) represent an extremely promising approach to achieve these goals. Part of the fuel is fed into the combustion chamber in a premixed form as a reacting jet in cross flow (RJC).

With the increasing availability of high computing capacities as well as improved numerical algorithms, simulation models and evaluation methods, high-precision, coupled computing methods will play an important role in the development of this combustion technology.

Runtime : 08/2020 - 07/2024
Contact: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Polifke


Contact Person

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Polifke

Tel.: +49 89 289 16217