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Study of Hydrogen Diffusion and Deflagration in a Closed System


A total of 12 ventilation experiments with various combinations of hydrogen release rates and ventilation speeds were performed in order to study how ventilation speed and release rate effect the hydrogen concentration in a closed system. The experiential facility was constructed out of steel plates and beams in the shape of a rectangular enclosure. The volume of the test facility was about 60m3. The front face of the enclosure was covered by a plastic film in order to allow visible and infrared cameras to capture images of the flame. The inlet and outlet vents were located on the lower front face and the upper backside panel, respectively. Hydrogen gas was released toward the ceiling from the center of the floor. The hydrogen gas was released at constant rate in each test. The hydrogen release rate ranged from 0.002 m3/s to 0.02 m3/s. Ventilation speeds were 0.1, 0.2 and 0.4 m3/s respectively. Ignition was attempted at the end of the hydrogen release by using multiple continuous spark ignition modules on the ceiling and next to the release point. Time evolution of hydrogen concentration was measured using evacuated sample bottles. Overpressure and impulse inside and outside the facility were also measured. The mixture was ignited by a spark ignition module mounted on the ceiling in eight of eleven tests. In the other three tests, the mixture was ignited by spark ignition modules mounted next to the nozzle. Overpressures generated by the hydrogen deflagration in most of these tests were low and represented a small risk to people or property. The primary risk associated with the hydrogen deflagrations studied in these tests was from the fire. The maximum concentration is proportional to the ratio of the hydrogen release rate to the ventilation speed within the range of parameters tested. Therefore, a required ventilation speed can be estimated from the assumed hydrogen leak rate within the experimental conditions described in this paper.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Japan ; United States

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Study of hydrogen diffusion and deflagration in a closed system

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