Pressure peaking phenomenon: Model validation against unignited release and jet fire experiments

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study is validation of pressure peaking phenomenon models for unignited and ignited releases of hydrogen in enclosures with limited ventilation, e.g. residential garages. The existence of “unexpected” peak in the pressure transient during release of a lighter than air gas in a vented enclosure was observed by Brennan et al. (2010) by carrying out theoretical and numerical research. The amplitude and duration of this pressure peak vary depending on the enclosure volume, vent size and leak flow rate. The peak can significantly exceed the steady-state overpressure, which is reached when the enclosure is fully occupied by leaking with a constant rate gas. The pressure peaking phenomenon can jeopardise a civil structure integrity in the case of accident if it is ignored at the design stage of hydrogen-powered vehicles. This could cause serious life safety and property protection issues that requires development of prevention and mitigation strategies and innovative safety engineering solutions. The experimental validation of the phenomenon was absent up to this work. The previous model for unignited release and developed in this study model for ignited release (jet fire) have been validated against experiments performed in a vented enclosure of 1 m3 volume with three different gases: air, helium, and hydrogen. The model for unignited release reproduces closely the experimental pressure peak and the pressure dynamics within the enclosure. The model for ignited release reproduces the pressure peak with acceptable engineering accuracy, and the simulation of pressure dynamics after the peak requires the increase of the discharge coefficient due to the change of vent flow from heavier air at the start to lighter hot combustion products afterwards and ultimately hydrogen. The methodology to calculate the pressure peaking phenomenon in two steps is described in detail. Examples of pressure peaking phenomenon calculation for typical hydrogen applications are presented. The phenomenon is relevant to most of indoor applications, when release of lighter than air gas is possible in an enclosure with limited ventilation. It must be considered when performing safety engineering design of inherently safer hydrogen systems and infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9454-9469
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number19
Early online date18 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 10 May 2018


  • Release
  • jet fire
  • enclosure
  • vent
  • hydrogen
  • pressure peaking phenomenon
  • model
  • experiment
  • validation


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