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01-05-2016 | Short Communication | Issue 3/2016

Fire Technology 3/2016

Flame Spread Monitoring and Estimation of the Heat Release Rate from a Cable Tray Fire Using Video Fire Analysis (VFA)

Journal:
Fire Technology > Issue 3/2016
Authors:
Tarek Beji, Steven Verstockt, Pascal Zavaleta, Bart Merci

Abstract

The paper presents an application of video fire analysis (VFA) to a cable tray fire scenario, a scenario of interest to nuclear power plants where cables constitute a substantial part of the combustible load. Five horizontal trays, each 2.4 m long and 0.45 m wide, are positioned with a 0.3 m spacing (in the vertical direction) and set-up against an insulated wall. Each tray contains 49 power PVC cables of 13 mm outer diameter. Ignition is performed with an 80 kW propane burner centrally positioned at 0.2 m below the first (i.e. lowest) tray. Thanks to a flame detection algorithm, the VFA technique allows a reconstruction of the heat release rate (HRR) profile based on the estimated temporal evolution of flame and extinction fronts at the level of each tray. The obtained profile is generally in good agreement with the HRR measurements (from oxygen depletion calorimetry). However, the time to reach the peak HRR is overestimated by approximately 100 s and the peak HRR of 3 MW is underestimated by 17%. These results are nevertheless encouraging because they provide confidence in the flame spread measurements (which are estimated for the case at hand between 2 mm/s and 5 mm/s). Therefore, a systematic application of VFA to real-scale experiments is believed to generate a valuable set of data (e.g. flame spread rates) for the development of simplified modelling.

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