The blast wave decay correlation for hydrogen tank rupture in a tunnel fire

Vladimir Molkov, Wulme Dery

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This study presents a universal correlation for blast wave decay after hydrogen tank rupture in a tunnel fire. The validated CFD model is applied to perform numerical experiments in tunnels of cross-section area 24-139 m2, aspect ratio width-height 1.2-2.7, tunnel length 150-1500 m with tanks of volume 15-176 L, and pressure 35-95 MPa (mass 0.6-6.9 kg). A dimensionless correlation for transition distance from Zone 1, dominated by blast wave reflections, to Zone 2 of planar wave propagation is developed. The traditional models derived using high explosives are found to be non-appropriate to describe blast wave decay after hydrogen tank rupture in a tunnel fire. Therefore, an original correlation is developed using methods of similitude analysis and numerical experiments. The mechanical and fraction of chemical energy contributing to the blast wave strength are accounted for along with effects of tunnel aspect ratio and friction/minor losses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31289-31302
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number55
Early online date30 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 6 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to Engineering and Physical Science 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 NET-Tools project “Novel education and training tools based on digital applications related to hydrogen and fuel cell technology” and the HyTunnel-CS project “Pre-normative research for safety of hydrogen driven vehicles and transport through tunnels and similar confined spaces”. The NET-Tools project has received funding from the FCH2 JU under grant agreement No. 736648 , and the HyTunnel-CS project 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.


  • Blast wave decay
  • Correlation
  • Hydrogen safety
  • Numerical experiments
  • Tank rupture
  • Tunnel


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