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Ignition Limits For Combustion of Unintended Hydrogen Releases- Experimental and Theoretical Results


The ignition limits of hydrogen/air mixtures in turbulent jets are necessary to establish safety distances based on ignitable hydrogen location for safety codes and standards development. Studies in turbulent natural gas jets have shown that the mean fuel concentration is insufficient to determine the flammable boundaries of the jet. Instead, integration of probability density functions (PDFs) of local fuel concentration within the quiescent flammability limits, termed the flammability factor (FF), was shown to provide a better representation of ignition probability (PI). Recent studies in turbulent hydrogen jets showed that the envelope of ignitable gas composition (based on the mean hydrogen concentration), did not correspond to the known flammability limits for quiescent hydrogen/air mixtures. The objective of this investigation is to validate the FF approach to the prediction of ignition in hydrogen leak scenarios. The PI within a turbulent hydrogen jet was determined using a pulsed Nd:YAG laser as the ignition source. Laser Rayleigh scattering was used to characterize the fuel concentration throughout the jet. Measurements in methane and hydrogen jets exhibit similar trends in the ignition contour, which broadens radially until an axial location is reached after which the contour moves inward to the centerline. Measurements of the mean and fluctuating hydrogen concentration are used to characterize the local composition statistics conditional on whether the laser spark results in a local ignition event or complete light-up of a stable jet flame. The FF is obtained through direct integration of local PDFs. A model was developed to predict the FF using a presumed PDF with parameters obtained from experimental data and computer simulations. Intermittency effects that are important in the shear layer are incorporated in a composite PDF. By comparing the computed FF with the measured PI we have validated the flammability factor approach for application to ignition of hydrogen jets.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: United States

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Ignition Limits For Combustion of Unintended Hydrogen Releases- Experimental and Theoretical Results

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