Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Numerical studies on swirling of internal fire whirls with experimental justifications


internal fire whirl, large eddy simulation, vertical structure, flame surface


Numerical studies on internal fire whirls (IFW) generated in a vertical shaft model with a single corner gap were reported in this paper. The generation of IFW, burning rate of fuel and temperature were studied experimentally first. Numerical simulations on medium-scale IFW were carried out using a fully-coupled large eddy simulation incorporating subgrid scale turbulence and a fire source with heat release rates compiled from experimental results. Typical transient flame shape was studied and then simulated numerically by using temperature. The dynamic phenomena of generation and development of IFW were simulated and then compared with experimental results. The predicted results were validated by comparing with experimental data, which demonstrated that an IFW can be simulated by Computational Fluid Dynamics. Numerical results for flame surface, temperature, and flame length agreed well with the experimental results. The IFW flame region and intermittent region were longer than those for an ordinary pool fire. The modified empirical formula for centerline temperature was derived. Variations of vertical and tangential velocity in axial and radial directions were also shown. The vortex core radius was found to be determined by the fuel bed size. Velocity field was not measured extensively due to resources limitation. Comparing measured temperature distribution with predictions is acceptable because temperature is related to the heat release rate, air flow and pressure gradient.


Tsinghua University Press