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Hydrogen Jet Fires in a Passively Ventilated Enclosure


This paper describes a combined experimental, analytical and numerical modelling investigation into hydrogen jet fires in a passively ventilated enclosure. The work was funded by the EU Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking project Hyindoor. It is relevant to situations where hydrogen is stored or used indoors. In such situations passive ventilation can be used to prevent the formation of a flammable atmosphere following a release of hydrogen. Whilst a significant amount of work has been reported on unignited releases in passively ventilated enclosures and on outdoor hydrogen jet fires, very little is known about the behaviour of hydrogen jet fires in passively ventilated enclosures. This paper considers the effects of passive ventilation openings on the behaviour of hydrogen jet fires. A series of hydrogen jet fire experiments were carried out using a 31 m3 passively ventilated enclosure. The test programme included subsonic and chocked flow releases with varying hydrogen release rates and vent configurations. In most of the tests the hydrogen release rate was sufficiently low and the vent area sufficiently large to lead to a well-ventilated jet fire. In a limited number of tests the vent area was reduced, allowing under-ventilated conditions to be investigated. The behaviour of a jet fire in a passively ventilated enclosure depends on the hydrogen release rate, the vent area and the thermal properties of the enclosure. An analytical model was used to quantify the relative importance of the hydrogen release rate and vent area, whilst the influence of the thermal properties of the enclosure were investigated using a CFD model. Overall, the results indicate that passive ventilation openings that are sufficiently large to safely ventilate an unignited release will tend to be large enough to prevent a jet fire from becoming under-ventilated.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: United Kingdom

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