The influence of tunnel geometry and ventilation on the heat release rate of a fire

R. O. Carvel, A. N. Beard, P. W. Jowitt, D. D. Drysdale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has occasionally been observed that fires in tunnels appear to be significantly more severe than fires in the open air. A literature review has been carried out, comparing heat release data from fires in tunnels with heat release data from similar fires in the open air. A Bayesian methodology has been used to investigate the geometrical factors that have the greatest influence on heat release rate. It is shown that the heat release rate of a fire in a tunnel is influenced primarily by the width of a tunnel; a fire will tend to have a higher heat release rate in a narrow tunnel rather than in a wide tunnel. The observed relationship between heat release rate and tunnel width is presented. Results from a study investigating the variation of heat release rate with ventilation velocity for fires in tunnels are also presented. A method for making realistic estimates of the heat release rates of fires in tunnels, based on these results, is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-26
Number of pages22
JournalFire Technology
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004

Keywords

  • Heat release rate
  • Longitudinal ventilation
  • Tunnel fires
  • Tunnel geometry

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