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ASSESSING THE EXPLOSION RISK OF THE EQUIPMENT IN THE
REFRIGERATION SYSTEM BY STUDYING AND APPLYING THE
PASQUILLGIFFORD’S PUFF MODEL
Ly Ngoc Minh – Director of Industrial Safety and Health Center
Faculty of Chemical and Environmetal Engineering
Hochiminh City University of industry (HUI)
ngocminhly@vnn.vn
ABSTRACT
The study introduces the method to calculate the dispersion of the refrigerant in
the air for assessing the environmental risk caused by the explosion of the equipment
in the refrigeration system by studying and using the instantaneous source model (puff
model); and ability to apply them in order to calculate the dispersion of the hazard gas
in the air to predict the impact of the environmental risk in using the refrigeration and
air conditioning in Vietnam.
Result of our study can use for assessing the environmental risk or predicting
the consequence of the environmental risk in using the refrigerant or another
hazardous chemicals.
I. INTRODUCTION
Using the refrigerant or another hazardous chemicals can caused some
environmental risks, such as: leaked from the tanks, rupture the tanks ... So we have to
calculate the dispersion of the hazard gas in the air for assessing that environmental
risk. One of the ways is using the mathematical models to do this work. This is one of
the models  the instantaneous source model (puff model) as to be shown in Fig.1, Fig.
2 and Fig.3
Mexico City, 1984
LPG
Bleve, VCF
650 mŕtvych, 6400 zranených
strata 31 300 000 $
Terminál
Fig. 1: Image of the ruptuered risk of the LPG tanks in Mexico City in 1984
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Fig. 2: Image of the domino effect of the eplosion risk of the LPG tanks
in Mexico City in 1984
Fig.3: Image of the fire ball upon the explosion risk of the LPG tank
II. BASIC THEORY
A puff is formed as a result of an instantaneous spill (see Fig. 4). Puff scenarios
include catastrophic of bottles, drums, or vessels containing liquids above their normal
boiling points. Upon rupture, a fraction of the liquids vaporizes. The flashing vapor is
a result of the excess sensible heat vaporizing a fraction of the liquid. This flashing
vapor may also entrain some of the remaining liquid.
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Figure 4: Instantaneous source puff model
The resulting puff of vapor and the entrained liquid are dispersed in and carried
with the surrounding wind. Downwind concentration (vapor only) is computed using
Eq. 1
( )
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
]
]
]
]
,
`
.
 +
− +
]
]
]
]
,
`
.
 −
−
]
]
]
]
,
`
.

− ·
2 2
2
2
3
*
2
1
exp
2
1
exp
2
1
exp
2
) , , , (
z
r
z
r
y
z y x
m
H z H z y Q
t z y x C
σ σ σ
σ σ σ π
(Eq.1)
Where:
• C(x, y, z, t) is the concentration of the gas as a function of x, y, z at time t
(mass/length
3
),
• x, y, z are distances from the source (length),
• Q
*
m
is the instantaneous source (mass),
•
y
σ and
z
σ are dispersion coefficients (length), given in Fig. 2 and Fig.3; The
stability classes for the puff model are given in Table 1.
• u is the wind velocity (length/ time), and
• H
r
is the height of the release (length).
The computed concentrations are for positions projected from the center of the
puff as it drifts downwind at the speed of the surrounding wind. Since the puff moves
at the same speed as the surrounding wind, the center of the puff is followed using Eq.
2
x = ut (Eq. 2)
Where:
• x is the center of the puff and downwind from the source (length),
• u is wind speed (length/ time), and
• t is time after the source is released (time).
Set z = 0 to estimate downwind ground – level concentration. The center
concentration for a ground level release is estimated by setting y = z = H
r
= 0:
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( )
z y x
m
Q
t ut C t x C
σ σ σ π 2
3
*
2
) , 0 , 0 , ( ) , 0 , 0 , ( · ·
(Eq. 3)
Figure 5: Horizontal dispersion coefficients for Pasquill – Gifford puff model
Figure 6: Vertical dispersion coefficients for PasquillGifford puff model
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The dispersion coefficients are function of the atmospheric stability classes and
the downwind distance from the source. These stability classes are shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Atmospheric stability classes for the PasquillGifford dispersion model
Day radiation intensity Night cloud cover
Wind speed
(m/s)
Strong
Medium
Slight
Cloudy
Calm and
clear
<2 A AB B  
23 AB B C E F
35 B BC C D E
56 C CD D D D
> 6 C D D D D
Note: Stability classes for plume model (A, B, C, D, E, F …) compared to
stability for puff model (unstable, neutral, and stable): A, B (unstable), C, D (neutral),
E, F (stable).
III. CONCLUTION
Result of the study can use for assessing the environmental risk or predicting
the consequence of the environmental risk in using the refrigerant or another
hazardous chemicals.
REFERENCES
1. Joseph F. and B. Diane Louvar; Health and environmental risk analysis;
Prentice Hall, Inc., 1998.
2. Daniel A. Crowl/ Joseph F. Louvar; Chemical Process Safety: Fundamentals
with Applications; Prentice Hall, Inc., 2001.
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