Verification of the capabilities of computation fluid dynamics (CFD) models for predicting water mist fire suppression system performance


  1. Alexander, D.
  2. Thistle, J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN);MARTEC Ltd, Halifax NS (CAN)
This report examines the capabilities of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models for predicting water mist fire suppression (WMFS) system performance. The Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) version 5.5.3 revision 7031 was used to simulate WMFS system performance for seven large scale experimental test scenarios. Alterations to the FDS extinction model to account for autoignition and flash-point properties of liquid fuels provided some improvements to the extinction predictions of WMFS systems. Further refinement of the extinction model is required to predict complete fire suppression and to eliminate non-physical fire ignition in low energy regions away from the primary fire. For one machinery space scenario, agreement between the simulation and the experiment was within the experimental variation and extinction times predicted by the simulations were within 4-30% of the experimental values. Other scenarios, in particular pool fire scenarios, had errors in some temperatures up to 100%, and extinction times that were less than 60% of the experimental values. This investigation demonstrated that for some scenarios the effectiveness of WMFS systems can be well predicted via CFD analysis, but that there are currently significant limitations to the application of CFD analysis to all WMFS scenarios.

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Water mist fire suppression;computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling;large scale fires;IMO standard fire;fire extinction models;Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS);FDS version 5.5.3;revision 7031;verification of FDS model
Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-CR-2011-102 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 Jul 2011
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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