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Effect of Initial Turbulence on Vented Explosion Over Pressures from Lean Hydrogen-air Deflagrations


To examine the effect of initial turbulence on vented explosions, experiments were performed for lean hydrogen–air mixtures, with hydrogen concentrations ranging from 12 to 15% vol., at elevated initial turbulence. As expected, it was found that an increase in initial turbulence increased the overall flame propagation speed and this increased flame propagation speed translated into higher peak overpressures during the external explosion. The peak pressures generated by flame–acoustic interactions, however, did not vary significantly with initial turbulence. When flame speeds measurements were examined, it was found that the burning velocity increased with flame radius as a power function of radius with a relatively constant exponent over the range of weak initial turbulence studied and did not vary systematically with initial turbulence. Instead, the elevated initial turbulence increased the initial flame propagation velocities of the various mixtures. The initial turbulence thus appears to act primarily by generating higher initial flame wrinkling while having a minimal effect on the growth rate of the wrinkles. For practical purposes of modelling flame propagation and pressure generation in vented explosions, the increase in burning velocity due to turbulence is suggested to be approximated by a single constant factor that increases the effective burning velocity of the mixture. When this approach is applied to a previously developed vent sizing correlation, the correlation performs well for almost all of the peaks. It was found, however, that in certain situations, this approach significantly under predicts the flame–acoustic peak. This suggests that further research may be necessary to better understand the influence of initial turbulence on the development of flame–acoustic peaks in vented explosions.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: United States

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