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Explosion Characteristics of Hydrogen Gas in Varying Ship Ventilation Tunnel Geometries: An Experimental Study


Hydrogen is widely regarded as a key element of prospective energy solutions for alleviating environmental emission problems. However, hydrogen is classified as a high-risk gas because of its wide explosive range, high overpressure, low ignition energy, and fast flame propagation speed compared with those of hydrocarbon-based gases. In addition, deflagration can develop into detonation in ventilation or explosion guide tunnels if explosion overpressure occurs, leading to the explosion of all combustible gases. However, quantitative evidence of an increase in the explosion overpressure of ventilation tunnels is unavailable because the explosive characteristics of hydrogen gas are insufficiently understood. Therefore, this study investigated an explosion chamber with the shape of a ventilation pipe in a ship compartment. The effect of tunnel length on explosion overpressure was examined experimentally. For quantitative verification, the size of the hydrogen gas explosion overpressure was analyzed and compared with experimental values of hydrocarbon-based combustible gases (butane and LPG (propane 98%)). The experimental database can be used for explosion risk analyses of ships when designing ventilation holes and piping systems and developing new safety guidelines for hydrogen carriers and hydrogen-fueled ships.

Funding source: This study was a part of the project entitled ‘Development of guidance for prevent of leak and mitigation of consequence in hydrogen ships’, funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Korea.
Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Korea, Republic of

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