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W.G. Houf; G.H. Evans; R.W. Schefer

A combined experimental and modeling program is being carried out at Sandia National Laboratories to characterize and predict the behavior of unintended hydrogen releases. In the case where the hydrogen leak remains unignited, knowledge of the concentration field and flammability envelope is an issue of importance in determining consequence distances for the safe use of hydrogen. In the case where a high-pressure leak of hydrogen is ignited, a classic turbulent jet flame forms. Knowledge of the flame length and thermal radiation heat flux distribution is important to safety. Depending on the effective diameter of the leak and the tank source pressure, free jet flames can be extensive in length and pose significant radiation and impingement hazard, resulting in consequence distances that are unacceptably large. One possible mitigation strategy to potentially reduce the exposure to jet flames is to incorporate barriers around hydrogen storage equipment. The reasoning is that walls will reduce the extent of unacceptable consequences due to jet releases resulting from accidents involving highpressure equipment. While reducing the jet extent, the walls may introduce other hazards if not configured properly. The goal of this work is to provide guidance on configuration and placement of these walls to minimize overall hazards using a quantitative risk assessment approach. Detailed Navier-Stokes calculations of jet flames and unignited jets are used to understand how hydrogen leaks and jet-flames interact with barriers. The effort is complemented by an experimental program that considers the interaction of jet flames and unignited jets with barriers.

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