Numerical simulations of vented hydrogen deflagrations in a medium-scale enclosure

I.C. Tolias, J.R. Stewart, A. Newton, J. Keenan, D. Makarov, J.R. Hoyes, V Molkov, A.G. Venetsanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


A validation study was performed to investigate the ability of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models to predict hydrogen deflagrations in vented enclosures. The validation exercise was aimed at assessing the suitability of CFD as a reliable tool for explosion safety assessments and involved comparing CFD predictions with measurements from an experiment carried out by FM Global in a 64 m3 enclosure. The enclosure included a large square vent located in the center of one of its walls. The enclosure was filled with a homogenous hydrogen-air mixture of 18% v/v composition before ignition at its center. In this paper, CFD model predictions of the transient pressure and the flame speed are compared against experimental measurements. Additionally, peak over-pressure predictions are compared against empirical correlations and the NFPA 68 vent sizing standard. The study focuses on the prediction of the first overpressure peak that is generated by external explosion. The agreement between the models’ predictions and experimental results is found to be satisfactory, which suggests that CFD models have the potential to predict explosion phenomena with reasonable accuracy. However, more extensive model validation and sensitivity studies are required before CFD models can be used with confidence in explosion safety assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A
JournalJournal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries
Issue numberN/A
Early online date28 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished online - 28 Oct 2017


  • CFD validation
  • FM Global experiment
  • vented hydrogen deflagration
  • external explosion
  • safety assessment


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