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Simulation of Oil Tank Fires.

pdf icon Simulation of Oil Tank Fires. (1680 K)
Baum, H. R.; McGrattan, K. B.

Volume 2;

Interscience Communications Ltd.; National Institute of Standards and Technology; Building Research Establishment; and Society of Fire Protection Engineers; Swedish National Testing and Research Institute. Interflam 1999. (Interflam '99). International Interflam Conference, 8th Proceedings. Volume 2. June 29-July 1, 1999, Edinburgh, Scotland, Interscience Communications Ltd., London, England, 1117-1128 pp, 1999.


fire science; fire safety; oil tanks; tank fires; simulation; industrial fires; fire models; mathematical models; storage tanks; containment


A methodology for simulating the dynamics of large industrial fires in an outdoor environment is presented. The large eddy simulation techniques developed by the authors and their collaborators are used to simulate fire scenarios involving a large oil storage tank adjacent to several neighboring tanks. Two scenarios are considered; a fire on a tank top and a fire in the containment trench surrounding the tank. A radiative transport model based on the emission of radiant energy from localized burning Lagrangian elements is introduced. Energy is absorbed by smoke generated as part of the combustion processes occurring within the burning elements. The model is used to estimate the radiative heat transfer to the tanks as a function of the fire location and the ambient wind field. These examples are used to outline the issues that must be addressed in order to make a realistic assessment of the hazards generated by large industrial fires.