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A CFD Analysis of Liquid Hydrogen Vessel Explosions using the ADREA-HF Code


Despite hydrogen is one of the most suitable candidates in replacing fossil fuels, its very low densityrepresents a drawback when it is stored. The liquefaction process can increase the hydrogen densityand therefore enhance its storage capacity. The boiling liquid expanding vapour explosion (BLEVE) isa typical accident scenario that must be always considered when liquefied gases are stored. Inparticular, BLEVE is a physical explosion with low probabilities and high consequences which mayoccur after the catastrophic rupture of a vessel containing a liquid with a temperature above its boilingpoint at atmospheric pressure. In this paper, a parametric CFD analysis of the BLEVE phenomenonwas conducted by means of the CFD code ADREA-HF for liquid hydrogen (LH2) vessels. Firstly, theCFD model is validated against a well-documented CO2 BLEVE experiment. Next, hydrogen BLEVEcases are examined. The physical parameters were chosen based on the BMW tests carried out in the1990s on LH2 tanks designed for automotive purposes. Different filling degrees, initial pressures andtemperatures of the tank content are simulated to comprehend how the blast wave is influenced by theinitial conditions. The aim of this study is twofold: provide new insights and observations on theBLEVE dynamics and demonstrate the CFD tool effectiveness for conducting the consequenceanalysis and thus aiding the risk assessment of liquefied gas vessel explosion. Good agreement wasshown between the simulation outcomes and the experimental results.

Funding source: This work was undertaken as part of the research project “Safe Hydrogen fuel handling and Use for Efficient Implementation (SH2IFT)”, and the authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Research Council of Norway under the ENERGIX programme (Grant No. 280964). Furthermore, the research leading to these results was financially supported by the PRESLHY project, which has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 779613. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe research.
Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Greece ; Norway

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