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Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations of Hydrogen Releases and Vented Deflagrations in Large Enclosures


This paper presents model predictions obtained with the CFD tool FLACS for hydrogen releases and vented deflagrations in containers and larger enclosures. The paper consists of two parts. The first part compares experimental results and model predictions for two test cases: experiments performed by Gexcon in 20-foot ISO containers (volume 33 m3 ) as part of the HySEA project and experiments conducted by SRI International and Sandia National Laboratories in a scaled warehouse geometry (volume 45.4 m3 ). The second part explores the use of the model system validated in the first part to accidental releases of hydrogen from forklift trucks inside a full-scale warehouse geometry (32 400 m3 ). The results demonstrate the importance of using realistic and reasonably accurate geometry models of the systems under consideration when performing CFD-based risk assessment studies. The discussion highlights the significant inherent uncertainty associated with quantitative risk assessments for vented hydrogen deflagrations in complex geometries. The suggestions for further work include a pragmatic approach for developing empirical correlations for pressure loads from vented hydrogen deflagrations in industrial warehouses with hydrogen-powered forklift trucks.

Funding source: The HySEA project received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) under grant agreement No 671461. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.
Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Norway

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