Dynamics of blast wave and fireball after hydrogen tank rupture in a fire in the open atmosphere

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This paper describes a CFD model of the blast wave and fireball dynamics after high-pressure hydrogen tank rupture in a fire in the open atmosphere. Experiments on rupture in a fire of tanks with nominal working pressure 35 MPa and 70 MPa are used to validate the model and get insights into underlying physical phenomena. Parametric studies are performed to understand the effect of different physical sub-models, numerical methods and other model parameters, e.g. instantaneous or inertial tank opening, on the convergence of simulations and closer reproduction of experiments. The model reproduces experiments well using different turbulence (RNG, Smagorinski-Lilly) and combustion (EDC, FRC) sub-models. It is demonstrated that hydrogen combustion at the contact surface between heated by starting shock air and cooled by expansion hydrogen at the initial stage of the process affects the blast wave strength, i.e. the peak pressure of the leading front and the blast wave impulse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4644-4665
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number5
Early online date18 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 19 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the UK for funding this work through SUPERGEN Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Hub project ( EP/P024807/1 ), and to Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (FCH2 JU) for funding this research through the HyTunnel-CS project “Pre-normative research for safety of hydrogen driven vehicles and transport through tunnels and similar confined spaces”. The HyTunnel-CS project has received funding from the FCH2 JU under grant agreement No.826193. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Hydrogen safety
  • Tank rupture
  • Blast wave
  • fireball
  • CFD model
  • validation


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