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Numerical Modelling of Flame Acceleration and Transition to Detonation in Hydrogen & Air Mixtures with Concentration Gradient


Hydrogen gas explosions in homogeneous reactive mixtures have been widely studied both experimentally and numerically. However, in practice, combustible mixtures are usually inhomogeneous and subject to both vertical and horizontal concentration gradients. There is still very limited understanding of the hydrogen explosion characteristics in such situations. The present numerical investigation aims to study the effect of mixture concentration gradient on the process of Deflagration to Detonation Transition, and the effect of different hydrogen concentration gradient in the obstructed channel of hydrogen/air mixtures. An obstructed channel with 30% blockage ratio (BR=30), and three different average hydrogen concentrations of 20 %, 30% and 35% have been considered using a specially developed density-based solver within the OpenFOAM toolbox. A high-resolution grid was built with the using adaptive mesh refinement technique providing 10 grid points in half reaction length. The numerical results are in reasonably good agreement with the experimental  observations [1]. These studies show that the concentration gradient has a considerable effect on the accelerated flame tip speed and the location of transition to detonation in the obstructed channel. In all the three cases the first localised explosion occurred near the bottom wall where the shock and flame interacted, and the mixture was most lean; and the second localised explosion occurred at the top wall due to the reflection of shock and flame front and later develops to form the leading detonation wave. The increase in the fuel concentration was found to increase the flame acceleration (FA) and having a faster transition to detonation.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: United Kingdom

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