Comparison Of Two Modelling Approaches For Sprinkler Effect On Fire Heat Release Rate

Gencer Koc - Arup, Sydney, NSW

Abstract

Freezing the heat release rate bound to sprinkler activation is one of the most commonly used methods during enclosure fire modelling. With this method, designer can simply fix the heat release rate at its value at the time of sprinkler activation. The sprinkler activation is generally modelled as a toggle button which turns on with a predefined temperature set point. This method provides a practical method for modelling the effect of sprinklers and devising design fire scenarios. Another method which is more complicated and introduces more uncertainty into the modelling is the so called realistic modelling of the fuel load and fire spread in the enclosure and the sprinklers. This model is generally preferred for research purposes and requires more control and information about the input parameters. In this study, these two different methods have been compared through the simulation of different fire scenarios. A realistic reference model has been prepared with no sprinklers to obtain the resultant heat release rate curve through the course of fire. Same model is then simulated with sprinklers and with the heat release rate freezing option. Findings have been presented in terms of resultant heat release rate curves, time dependent near and far field air temperature values and visibility contours. Sensitivity analyses on sprinkler model parameters, and fire ignition location have been carried out to identify the applicability of each method in place of the other.

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