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Large Eddy Simulations of Sprinkler, Vent and Draft Curtain Performance.

pdf icon Large Eddy Simulations of Sprinkler, Vent and Draft Curtain Performance. (888 K)
McGrattan, K. B.; Stroup, D. W.

Fire Suppression and Detection Research Application Symposium. Research and Practice: Bridging the Gap. Proceedings. National Fire Protection Research Foundation. February 12-14, 1997, Orlando, FL, 59-68 pp, 1997.


fire suppression; fire detection; fire research; fire safety; sprinklers; vents; curtains; mathematical models; field models; computational fluid dynamics; equations; heptane


The National Fire Protection Research Foundation (NFPRF) is overseeing a project to evaluate the interaction of sprinklers with draft curtains and smoke/heat vents. The goal of the project is to develop an engineering method capable of quantifying the conditions under which vents and draft curtains are beneficial, and under which they are detrimental, to the performance of a sprinkler system in large enclosures. To reach the goal, full scale commodity fires are being planned for a space that will mimic as much as possible large storage and manufacturing facilities. towards that end, 22 heptane spray burner tests were conducted in January 1997 at the Underwriters Laboratories large-scale fire test facility to study the interaction between sprinklers, vents and draft curtains in a well-controlled environment. One of the objectives of thest tests was to evaluate the predicitive capability of a field model poresently under development at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The model, which is referred to as the NIST Large Eddy Simulation (LES) fire model, is a computational fluid dynamics code that solves the equations governing the flow of smoke and hot gases from a fire. Phenomena like sprinkler sprays, flame spread and radiative transport have been incorporated in the model. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the numerical model and some sample calculaitons of the UL heptane burner tests. The degree to which the model is able to replicate the experimental results will determine to what extent it can be used as a tool to expand the experimental test matrix beyond its limited number of tests, and also to plan the next series of tests.