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New Paradigms in Hydrogen Explosion Modelling Using an Industrial CFD Code


It is well-known that deflagration to detonation transition (DDT) may be a significant threat for hydrogen explosions. This paper presents a summary of the work carried out for the development of models in order to enable the industrial computational fluid dynamic (CFD) tool FLACS to provide indications about the possibility of a deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT). The likelihood of DDT has been expressed in terms of spatial pressure gradients across the flame front. This parameter is able to visualize when the flame front captures the pressure front, which is the case in situations when fast deflagrations transition to detonation. Reasonable agreement was obtained with experimental observations in terms of explosion pressures, transition times, and flame speeds for several practical geometries. The DDT model has also been extended to develop a more meaningful criterion for estimating the likelihood of DDT by comparison of the geometric dimensions with the detonation cell size. The conclusion from simulating these experiments is that the FLACS DPDX criterion seems robust and will generally predict the onset DDTs with reasonable precision, including the exact location where DDT may happen. The standard version of FLACS can however not predict the consequences if there is DDT as only deflagration flames are modelled. Based on the methodology described above, an approach for predicting detonation flames and explosion loads has been developed. The second part of the paper covers new paradigms associated with risk assessment of a hydrogen infrastructure, such as a refueling station. In particular, approaches involving one-to-one coupling between CFD and FEA modelling are summarized. The advantages of using such approaches are illustrated. This can have wide-ranging implications on the design of things like protection walls against hydrogen explosions.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: United Kingdom

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New paradigms in hydrogen explosion modelling using an industrial CFD code

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