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International Conference on Science & Technology: Application in Industry & Education (2008

)

CFD SIMULATION ON FIRE SCENARIO INSIDE A ROAD TUNNEL
1

Fauziah Bt. Jerai@Junaidi,

2

C.S. Ow

Mechanical Engineering Faculty, MARA Institute of Technology, Shah Alam Tel.:016-8121370, E-mail address: 1ziah_rai@yahoo.com, 2iodised@gmail.com Abstract This paper describes the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling details (using Phoenics 3.4), the results and the analysis of fire simulation inside the tunnel. The road tunnel in this study is assumed to have one traffic tube, jet fans ventilation system, emergency exits and escape routes. The variables which are considered in the study are temperature profiles, CO2 concentration and air velocity. A tanker with fire load of 100 MW was considered as the fire source. Five particular locations which are upstream from the fire location had been selected for analysis. The main purpose of this study was to ensure that the jet-fans are sufficiently sized for safe evacuation. A tunnel evacuation procedure applying Required Safe Evacuation Time (RSET) and compared with the Available Safe Evacuation Time (ASET) has been carried out to estimate the time required for people upstream of the fire to egress through the emergency exits. Vehicles downstream of the fire are assumed to continue moving and exit the tunnel safely. From the analysis, the ASET computed is in excess of RSET by 9 minutes and hence accounts for the appropriateness of the jet fans recommended. The air velocity is maintained around 3m/s to 5m/s along the tunnel and the jet fans are able to maintain the CO2 layer at a safe level to allow save evacuation of the occupants.

Keywords : CFD, tunnel fires, evacuation, RSET, ASET

Introduction
Numerical models based on CFD are becoming popular as predictive tools in fire safety area for describing the fire spread and dispersion of fire products [1]. They are mainly used to asses the effectiveness of alternative ventilation stratergies to evaluate the impact of fire on air quality due to accidental fire inside the tunnel. Numerous research papers have been published recently on tunnel fire safety and related topics. Ingason and Wickstrom [2] suggest that active and passive fire suppression should be used together to improve fire safety in road tunnels. Tunnel fire safety under different ventilation conditions has been investigated using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) fire smoke models [3, 4]. Modic has conducted fire simulation in road tunnels, and has also discussed evacuation strategies [5]. Peter and Stojan have measured three kinds of fire scenarios with different ventilation conditions [6]. Yunlong has discussed on life safety assessment in the event of a tunnel fire, using transient design fires [7]. This paper presents a methodology to evaluate life safety in a road tunnel in the event of fire. The CFD model is used for simulating evacuation qualities of a tunnel due to temperature profile fire products, CO2 concentration. The evacuation time of tunnel occupants is estimated using a simple evacuation model, Required Safe Evacuation Time (RSET) and compared with the Available Safe Evacuation Time (ASET).

Tunnel Geometry and Traffic Conditions
The tunnel chosen for this study is assumed to represent a 3 lanes and one tube tunnel, 646 m long x 6.2 m high x 22 m wide. Emergency exits, 2.4 m wide x 2 m high are assumed to be provided at every 175m along the tunnel length. The longitudinal ventilation rate is maintained around 3m/s to 5m/s along the tunnel. The number of vehicles and people in the tunnel during traffic hours can be estimated. Assuming tunnel is packed with vehicles and assuming a tunnel length of 5 m per car, 10 m per bus, and one bus for every 10 cars [3], there could be a total of 110 cars and 11 buses per lane and 330 cars and 33 buses for 3 lanes. Assuming 4 people per car and 30 people per bus, there could be a total of 2310 people, or about 622 people per 175 m section between exits. In the event of a fire accident, the traffic upstream of the fire is stop moving. All the vehicles downstream of

e.4m3/s The fire is assumed to occur at the second exit considering that occupants from this exit have to walk to the maximum 175 m length to the nearest exit.1 m above floor. the time to reach peak Heat Release Rate (HRR) of 128 MW fire is 10 minutes and the fire continuously burning for more than 60 minutes. The domain of the tunnel is set as x = 646m. 10 m upstream from the fire location (B). Fans location and capacity Fans location 83m from entrance 243m from entrance 403m from entrance 586m from entrance Capacity (volume flow rate) 35. the vehicles have to travel as far 475 m to the tunnel exit or within 30 seconds. For this particular simulation. full developed fire which means peak HRR (Heat Release Rate) is encountered at 0 time simulation has been used to establish ASET. at the middle lane. 100 m upstream from fire location (D). the jet fans are located at four different places. The tunnel wall domain is solid wall with smooth wall friction and fluid domain employed is air using Ideal Gas Law. full intensity of 100 MW fire at 0 s simulation is applied in this study. Therefore simulation time of 20 minutes with fully developed fire is simulated due to double of RSET. . The nearest exit location is located at spot E area (please refer Figure 1). which are 1 m upstream from the fire location (A). Schematic diagram of the analysis location (Side view and not to scale) 1m Five particular locations had been selected for analysis. For this simulation.the fire are assumed to drive away at about 60 km/h.4m3/s 17m3/s 17m3/s 35. PHOENICS provides wide-ranging options in representing fire sources. The attributes of these fans are as specified below: Table 2. All the location is spot at 2. 16. The objects that are defined in this fire simulation are tunnel openings (entrance and exit). In this simulation the heat source is defined as ‘fire’ with specified heat flux and smoke source. y = 13 and z = 44. standard temperature and pressure. i.4 has been carried out means that heat release rate change with respect to time. fire source (fuel tanker on fire) and jet fans. 50 m upstream from the fire location (C). The user can choose a fixed heat flux or a variable heat flux with different functions. However. From the large scale fire test tunnel in the Runehammer tunnel [2]. Entrance Exit Exit E D C B A Fire 175 m 10 m 50 m 100m 180 m Figure 1. However. and 180 m upstream from the fire location (E). The mesh size is set as x = 646.7 m/s.2m and z = 22m. y = 6. Prediction Of Smoke And Temperature Spread And Time Available For Egress (ASET) A transient fire employing CFD simulation to study effect of 100MW fire inside road tunnel using Phoenics 3. each place having a row of four fans.

C. Figure 3. 3 shows that CO2 value at 2. D and E . B. 4). a fire steady temperature of less than 60oC has been predicted (Fig. D and E. CO2 concentration-time curve for A. Complying with NFPA 502 [8]. Please refer to Appendix. Figure 9 to 10.7 m/s) in the direction of traffic flow. Therefore it may assume that after 20 minutes the condition is still save for evacuation. thus the conditions below the smoke layer is considered tenable. C. The temperature and smoke contour showing the spread of fire within 20 minutes are shown in Fig. The temperature below the CO2 layer is not critical since it below the limiting temperature of 100oC. Temperature-time curve for A. D and E. C. B. 5 to 6 and Fig. 7 to 8. The air velocity is maintained around 3m/s to 5m/s along the tunnel (Fig. Hot rising temperature at spot A reach a steady temperature of about 65oC (Fig 2) after 5 minutes the fire occur whereas as for spot B.05). the longitudinal air velocity is greater than the critical velocity (2. 2). Figure 2.The results show that the temperature rises at the initial stages and subsequently reach a steady temperature. The results in Fig.1 m level is below 5% (0.

Temperature profile at spot E (20 minutes) Fig. Air velocity-time curve for A. 7. CO2 concentration at spot E (5 minutes) . Temperature profile at spot E (5 minutes) Fig. 6.Figure 4. B. C. D and E Fig. 5.

Velocity profile at spot E (5 minutes) Fig. CO2 concentration at spot E (20 minutes) Fig. occupants close to the fire become aware of the fire by the visual cue of flames and smoke. 8.e.Fig. i. From Figure 2 and 4 show that the whole tunnel area is still clear of CO2 and the temperature is still maintained at ambient. The time to start depends mainly on the warning . For this particular simulation. the RSET consist of 3 components: Detection Time Detection time is the time which an occupant becomes aware of a fire. 9. Required Save Evacuation (RSET) At Upstream From The Fire Location Occupants safety depends on whether the occupants can evacuate safely before the Available Safe Egress Time(ASET). Velocity profile at spot E (20 minutes) Required Save Evacuation (RSET) At Downstream From The Fire Location In any fire incident. In a tunnel.7 m/s [2]. In the present analysis. Response Time Response time (or “delay time to start”) is the time takes for the occupants to initiate their evacuation movements once they have perceived some cues of the fire [1]. all the vehicles downstream of the fire are assumed to drive away at about 60 km/h. Assuming that the smoke detection is provided a typical detection time of 60s is assumed [8]. 16. 8. the vehicles have to travel as far 475 m to the tunnel exit or within 30 seconds.

First International Symposium on safe and Reliable Tunnels. C. References 1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Cliff Bidi. Thesis. EUROTUN 2007 Computational Methods in Tunneling. “CFD Model of Fire Inside A Tunnel” . 6 (2003). The temperature below the CO2 layer as simulated reads 60oC and since it is lower than the limiting temperature of 100oC conditions are regarded as tenable. Time for Evacuation RSET (sec) : 653 Time for Available Safe Egress ASET (sec) : > 1200 Safety Margin (sec) : 547 ≈ 9 minutes Conclusion The original scope of work in this study was to determine the jet fan effectiveness for evacuation of people. Based on the calculations on the work of Cliff and Nelson et al [1. The present analysis was based on the ventilation system is fully operated. the Required Safe Egress Time is: = Detection Time + Response Time + Travel time = 60 s + 180 s + 413 s = 653 s ≈ 10. 4 shows that CO2 concentration value at 2.Sc. a fire steady temperature of less than 60oC has been predicted The results in Fig. Vol.system within tunnel.5. thus the conditions below the CO2 layer is considered tenable. Tunnel Management international. The tunnel jet fans are able to maintain the CO2 layer at a safe level to allow save evacuation of the occupants. Ingason and Lonenermark.. J. “Recent Achievements Regarding Measuring Of Time Heat and Time-temperature Developments In Tunnels”. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. The safety margin is established. 2004. travel time calculated is 413 s.al. Vienna. Therefore. Fakulti Kejuruteraan Mekanikal.1m level is below 5% (0. The requirement for occupant safety is given by Available Safe Egress time ( ASET > Required Safe Evacuation Time (RSET). Hot rising temperature at spot A reach a steady temperature of about 65oC (Fig. 2003. The results show that the temperature rises at the initial stages and subsequently reach a steady temperature. Referring table provided by Proulx [9] and based on the occupants without training. This is considered to be entry into the cross passages that lead into the other running tunnel. or the safety margin must be greater than 1. 2003. Prague.8 minutes The Available Safe Evacuation Time (ASET) is compared with the Required Safe Evacuation Time (RSET). CFD Roles In Fire Simulation”. Travel Time The travel time is the time taken for all occupants to reach a safe place. The travel time is composed of the time taken to walk to a safe place. 18. “Fire simulation in road tunnels”. 10]. An additional computation of REQUIRED SAFE EVACUATION TIME (RSET) is carried out and this is compared with the AVAILABLE SAFE EVACUATION TIME (ASET). The objective here is to ensure that the jet-fans are sufficiently sized for safe evacuation. This would include better defined design fires and occupant behavior for tunnel fire safety analysis. Sharad et. pp.05).al. “A Study of Fire Durability For A Road Tunnel”. Complying with NFPA 502. a stream of non contaminated air is provided to motorists in a path of egress away from the fire. D and E. UiTM Shah Alam. The ASET computed is in excess of RSET by 9 minutes and hence accounts for the appropriateness of the jet fans recommended. 2007. a 3 min response time can be assumed. Pedro et. 3) after 5 minutes the fire occur whereas as for spot B. 525-530. Modic. M. . Further study is needed to allow more definitive analysis of evacuation procedure by assuming the ventilation system is failed to operate. the proximity of the occupants to the fire and the characteristics of the occupants. The designated evacuation path is upstream of the fire location. No.

pp 273-287. & Maclennan H. 1988. pp 2-106. G.1. “Emergency Movement”. . Section 2 / Chapter 6. Beijing. 2002.. China.[6] Peter and Stojan. “Road Tunnel Fire and Life Safety Issues”.al. Society of Fire Protection Engineers Handbook. 4. 2005. “ Application Of CFD Method For Risk Assesment In Road Tunnels”.E. IAFSS 2005 Symposium. [8] Fire engineering Guidelines. 2007 [7] Yunlong Liu et. SFPE handbook of Fire Protection. [10] Nelson H.A. First Edition – March 1996. Eng Applications of Comp Fluid Mechanics Vol. 18-23 Sept. Published by Fire Code Reform Centre limited. “Movement of people: the Evacuation Timing”. No. [9] Proulx.