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Blast Wave Generated by Delayed Ignition of Under-Expanded Hydrogen Free Jet at Ambient and Cryogenic Temperatures


An under-expanded hydrogen jet from high-pressure equipment or storage tank is a potential incident scenario. Experiments demonstrated that the delayed ignition of a highly turbulent under-expanded hydrogen jet generates a blast wave able to harm people and damage property. There is a need for engineering tools to predict the pressure effects during such incidents to define hazard distances. The similitude analysis is applied to build a correlation using available experimental data. The dimensionless blast wave overpressure generated by delayed ignition and the follow-up deflagration or detonation of hydrogen jets at an any location from the jet, ∆Pexp/P0, is correlated to the original dimensionless parameter composed of the product of the dimensionless ratio of storage pressure to atmospheric pressure, Ps/P0, and the ratio of the jet release nozzle diameter to the distance from the centre of location of the fast-burning near-stoichiometric mixture on the jet axis (30% of hydrogen in the air by volume) to the location of a target (personnel or property), d/Rw. The correlation is built using the analysis of 78 experiments regarding this phenomenon in the wide range of hydrogen storage pressure of 0.5–65.0 MPa and release diameter of 0.5–52.5 mm. The correlation is applicable to hydrogen free jets at ambient and cryogenic temperatures. It is found that the generated blast wave decays inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the fast-burning portion of the jet. The correlation is used to calculate the hazard distances by harm thresholds for five typical hydrogen applications. It is observed that in the case of a vehicle with onboard storage tank at pressure 70 MPa, the “no-harm” distance for humans reduces from 10.5 m to 2.6 m when a thermally activated pressure relief device (TPRD) diameter decreases from 2 mm to a diameter of 0.5 mm.

Funding source: This research has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (now Clean Hydrogen Partnership) under grant agreements No. 779613 (PRESLHY), No. 826193 (HyTunnel-CS) and No. 736648 (NET-Tools). The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Norway, Switzerland. The authors would like to acknowledge EPSRC for funding the project Kelvin-2 “Tier 2 High-Performance Computing Services”, EP/T022175/1.
Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Germany ; Japan ; United Kingdom

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