Author: Lau, Hoi Shuk Virginia
Title: Study of ventilation effects on fire behavior in large open-plan compartments
Advisors: Jiang, Liming (BEEE)
Degree: M.Eng.
Year: 2023
Subject: Fires
Fires -- Computer simulation
Fire investigation
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering
Pages: vii, 53 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: The compartment fires were characterized by an ample amount of research and experiments performed in small compartments. After the tragic accident in the twin towers of World Trade Centre, it was learnt that fire behaviors in large compartments can not be explained with the existing theories and calculations and yet has many unknowns. Recent researches in large open plan compartments have provided the parameters of three distinctive fire spread modes and shown effects of ventilation to the thermal distribution of fire spread modes in open-plan compartment fires.
This study will focus on the effects of ventilation to fire behavior in large open-plan compartments with considerations of size of wall openings (o.o52, o.o73 and o.o96) and the vertical location of wall openings (0.9m, 1.2m and 1.5m). Computational simulation tool, Pyrosim, was used to predict the variation of fire dynamics in different ventilation models. A total of 9 models were developed to examine the correlation of ventilation modes and fire behaviors in large open plan compartments. A localized fire is inputted to understand effects of travelling fires in large open plan compartments before flashover.
Opening factors were a key component in determining the heat release rate, the amount of mass loss and fire spread rate in previous practice. It is inevitable true as the ventilation size will directly affect the amount of oxygen inside the compartment. Yet, the numerical results deviation between three opening factors, 0.052, 0.073 and 0.096, was relatively small.
However, a significant effect is observed in models having wall openings located at 1.5m above ground in which a flashover occurred when the opening factor is smaller than 0.052. Flashover was not observed in compartment geometries having wall openings at the same vertical location but with larger opening factors, still, significant differences in heat release rate, temperature and volume flow rate at the openings are observed.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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