International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.44, No.29, 15644-15656, 2019
Estimating leaked hydrogen gas flow in confined space through coupling zone model and point source buoyancy plume theory
A semi-analytical model combining zone model and virtual point source buoyancy plume theory is proposed to predict the gas flow and dispersion behaviors of leaked hydrogen in confined space with an opening. The height of interface between the upper and lower layers, outflow velocity and hydrogen molar fraction in outflow at steady stage are quantitively analyzed to study the effects of leakage mass flux and opening geometry. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tool, FLACS, is employed to simulate the interested scenarios and validate the reliability of the developed model. The results show that the interface height declines as the leakage mass flux increases, but the outflow velocity and hydrogen molar fraction exhibit inverse tendencies. The interface height is positively proportional to both opening width and height, but the opening height plays a more important role. At steady stage, the simulated interface height fluctuates within 0.1 m uncertainty range, which is identical to the grid size, and it well fits the analytical estimations. The opening width affects the outflow velocity more greatly than that of opening height. The fluctuation of the simulated interface height enhances the inaccuracy of the predicted outflow velocity in the acceptable range. Meanwhile, it is found that with fixed opening geometry the ratio of outflow velocity with higher leakage mass flux to that with lower leakage mass flux remains at 1.28 when the leakage mass flux is doubled. The variations of opening width and height have little and significant effects on outflow hydrogen molar fraction, respectively. Similarly, for given opening geometry the ratio of hydrogen molar fraction with higher leakage mass flux to that with lower leakage mass flux is about 1.58 when the leakage mass flux is doubled. (C) 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.