by S Kumar (22-May-2009)
Fire modelling is used increasingly to enable fire safety engineering solutions to meet performance-based regulatory requirements. There are many fire models, but perhaps the most useful are those based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Such tools in competent or expert hands are extremely powerful, but can be misused by those with limited knowledge of fire science and numerical modelling. Presentation of CFD results (often using video animation) can be very convincing, but the results must be assessed with some knowledge of the principles and awareness of any shortcomings of the model. Currently, CFD models employ either Reynolds-averaged NavierStokes (RANS) or large eddy simulation (LES) methodologies for application to practical fire problems.
19 line drawings, 3 photos
Fire-specific versus commercial software
Ensuring correct use of computer models
-Issues and concerns
-Best practice guidance (Non-dimensional heat-release-rate parameter Q*; Heat-release rate per unit area of fuel surface; Fire plume temperatures; Volumetric heat source versus combustion model; Radiative exchange from fire plume to its surroundings; Specification of free pressure boundary; Assessing the quality of the numerical solution; Effect of grid refinement; Analysis of CFD predictions against the characteristics of fire components)
Appendices: Step-by-step procedure for obtaining a converged numerical solution using the RANS CFD methodology; Considerations for setting up a numerical solution; Considerations for fire science and fire-safety engineering