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Numerical Simulation of Hydrogen Leakage from Fuel Cell Vehicle in an Outdoor Parking Garage


It is significant to assess the hydrogen safety of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in parking garages with a rapidly increased number of FCVs. In the present work, a Flame Acceleration Simulator (FLACS), a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) module using finite element calculation, was utilized to predict the dispersion process of flammable hydrogen clouds, which was performed by hydrogen leakage from a fuel cell vehicle in an outdoor parking garage. The effect of leakage diameter (2 mm, 3 mm, and 4 mm) and parking configurations (vertical and parallel parking) on the formation of flammable clouds with a range of 4–75% by volume was considered. The emission was assumed to be directed downwards from a Thermally Activated Pressure Relief Device (TPRD) of a 70 MPa storage tank. The results show that the 0.7 m parking space stipulated by the current regulations is less than the safety space of fuel cell vehicles. Compared with a vertical parking configuration, it is safer to park FCVs in parallel. It was also shown that release through a large TPRD orifice should be avoided, as the proportion of the larger hydrogen concentration in the whole flammable domain is prone to more accidental severe consequences, such as overpressure.

Funding source: This research was funded by Key Technologies Research and Development Program (CN), grant number 2020YFB1506205; and Scientific and Innovative Action Plan of Shanghai, grant number 18DZ1201900.
Related subjects: Safety

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