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Experimental Study on Hydrogen Explosions in a Full-scale Hydrogen Filling Station Model


In order for fuel cell vehicles to develop a widespread role in society, it is essential that hydrogen refuelling stations become established. For this to happen, there is a need to demonstrate the safety of the refuelling stations. The work described in this paper was carried out to provide experimental information on hydrogen outflow, dispersion and explosion behaviour. In the first phase, homogeneous hydrogen-air-mixtures of a known concentration were introduced into an explosion chamber and the resulting flame speed and overpressures were measured. Hydrogen concentration was the dominant factor influencing the flame speed and overpressure. Secondly, high-pressure hydrogen releases were initiated in a storage room to study the accumulation of hydrogen. For a steady release with a constant driving pressure, the hydrogen concentration varied as the inlet airflow changed, depending on the ventilation area of the room, the external wind conditions and also the buoyancy induced flows generated by the accumulating hydrogen. Having obtained this basic data, the realistic dispersion and explosion experiments were executed at full-scale in the hydrogen station model. High-pressure hydrogen was released from 0.8-8.0mm nozzle at the dispenser position and inside the storage room in the full-scale model of the refuelling station. Also the hydrogen releases were ignited to study the overpressures that can be generated by such releases. The results showed that overpressures that were generated following releases at the dispenser location had a clear correlation with the time of ignition, distance from ignition point.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Japan ; United Kingdom

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