Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Assessment of ventilation efficiency for emergency situations in subway systems by CFD modeling


ventilation, CFD modeling, subway train fire, indoor air quality


The ventilation system is the strategic component of the subway systems when incidents involving heavy smoke occur in tunnels. Consequently, the purpose of this study is to investigate the ventilation efficiency in one of the most severe emergency scenario: train on fire (maximum heat release rate reaching 30 MW due to an ultra-fast fire) and stopped in the tunnel, the incident requiring passenger evacuation. Two ventilation strategies are taken into account: tunnel ventilation fan system (mid-tunnel fan plant located in separate construction) in conjunction with stations mechanical ventilation and end-of-station fan plants in conjunction with stations mechanical ventilation. The analysis is performed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling. The numerical model proposes an original approach based on the introduction of source terms in conservation equations for energy, carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2), in order to deal with the heat, CO, and CO2 due to fire. Equations expressing the conservation of CO and CO2 are specially added to the basic equations governing a turbulent non-isothermal airflow in the CFD model. This method allowed achieving values of velocity, temperature, CO and CO2 concentrations all over the computational domain. In addition, the modeling and simulation methodology complies faithfully to the real operation of the ventilation systems investigated in normal and emergency (fire) conditions. The results show that both ventilation alternatives taken into account lead to the secure evacuation of passengers all over the simulation time. The evacuation process toward the nearest station is not at all disturbed by too high air velocities, high temperatures or critical CO or CO2 concentrations.


Tsinghua University Press