Numerical validation of pressure peaking from an ignited hydrogen release in a laboratory-scale enclosure and application to a garage scenario

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This work focuses on the overpressures arising from the rapid ignited release of hydrogen in an enclosure, specifically the peak in overpressure that may result in the initial period of the release, dependent on the level of ventilation. Two volumes are considered: a 1m3 laboratory scale enclosure for which experimental data exists, and a real scale residential garage. Various vent configurations are considered for each scenario for leak rates typical of those from a fuel cell (laboratory scale enclosure) and from onboard hydrogen storage tanks through a thermally activated pressure relief device (TPRD) in the garage-like enclosure. A validation study has been performed for the laboratory scale enclosure and the modelling approach which gives optimum results has been identified. The influence of heat transfer on the pressure peak has been highlighted, particularly, the importance of radiation in predicting the pressure peak. The validated modelling approach has been applied to a range of experiments and garage scenarios. Both the laboratory and real scale simulations demonstrate the complex relationship between vent size and release rate and indicate the significant overpressures that can result through pressure peaking following an ignited release in an enclosure. The magnitude of the pressure peak as a result of an ignited release has been found to be two orders of magnitude greater than that for the corresponding unignited release. The work indicates that TPRDs currently available for hydrogen powered vehicles may result in a dangerous situation which should be accounted for in regulations, codes and standards. The application of this work extends beyond TPRDs and is relevant where there is a rapid, ignited release of hydrogen in an enclosure with ventilation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17954-17968
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number37
Early online date16 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 13 Sept 2018


  • Ignited release
  • Hydrogen safety
  • Hydrogen jet fire
  • Pressure dynamics
  • Enclosure fire
  • pressure peaking phenomenon


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