Research Papers: Combustion and Reactive Flows

Numerical Study on Merging and Interaction of Jet Diffusion Flames

[+] Author and Article Information
T. C. Ho

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
The Hong Kong University of
Science and Technology
Clear Water Bay,
Hong Kong, China
e-mail: tcho@ust.hk

S. C. Fu

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
The Hong Kong University of
Science and Technology
Clear Water Bay,
Hong Kong, China
e-mail: mescfu@ust.hk

Christopher Y. H. Chao

Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
The Hong Kong University of
Science and Technology
Clear Water Bay,
Hong Kong, China
e-mail: meyhchao@ust.hk

Sharad Gupta

Hong Kong, China
e-mail: sharad.gupta@irescglobal.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received August 15, 2017; final manuscript received May 11, 2018; published online June 18, 2018. Editor: Portonovo S. Ayyaswamy.

J. Heat Transfer 140(10), 101201 (Jun 18, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: HT-17-1471; doi: 10.1115/1.4040348 History: Received August 15, 2017; Revised May 11, 2018

A high velocity jet fire can cause catastrophic failure due to flame impingement or radiation. The scenario becomes more complicated when multiple jet fires exist following ignition of release from pressure relief valves (PRV) as the thermal effect not only distorts the individual jet flame but also changes the flame height and temperature profile and such kind of high velocity jet flames have not been studied in the past. Therefore, prediction of the flame shape including the merging and interaction of multiple jet fires is essential in risk analysis. In this paper, fire interaction of two high velocity (>10 m/s) jet fires is investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques. Different radiation models are analyzed and validated by experimental data from the literature. Based on the simulation result, the merging of high velocity jet fires is divided into three stages. An empirical equation considering the fire interaction for the average flame height with different release velocities and separation distance is developed. The flame height increases dramatically when the separation distance decreases resulting in a shortage of oxygen. So, part of the methane is reacted in a higher height, which explains the change in the merging flame height and temperature.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Gómez-Mares, M. , Munoz, M. , and Casal, J. , 2009, “ Axial Temperature Distribution in Vertical Jet Fires,” J. Hazard. Mater., 172(1), pp. 54–60. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Palacios, A. , Muñoz, M. , and Darbra, R. , 2012, “ Thermal Radiation From Vertical Jet Fires,” Fire Saf. J., 51, pp. 93–101. [CrossRef]
API, 2014, “ Pressure-Relieving and Depressuring Systems,” American Petroleum Institute, Washington, DC, Standard No. API 521. http://www.fakels.ru/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/api_std_521_2014_6th_edition_pressure_relieving_and_depressu.pdf
API, 1998, “ Venting Atmospheric and Low-Pressure Storage Tanks,” American Petroleum Institute, Washington, DC, Standard No. 2000. https://law.resource.org/pub/us/cfr/ibr/002/api.2000.1998.pdf
Woodward, J. L. , and Pitbaldo, R. , 2010, LNG Risk Based Safety: Modeling and Consequence Analysis, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, pp. 275–317. [CrossRef]
BS, 2007, “ Installation and Equipment for Liquefied Natural Gas—Design of Onshore Installations,” British Standard, Standard No. BS EN 1473:2007. http://www.golng.eu/files/upload/
Chang, J. I. , and Lin, C. , 2006, “ A Study of Storage Tank Accidents,” J. Loss Prev. Process Ind., 19(1), pp. 51–59. [CrossRef]
Quintiere, J. , and Grove, B. , 1998, “ A Unified Analysis for Fire Plumes,” Symp. (Int.) Combust., 27(2), pp. 2757–2766. [CrossRef]
Sugawa, O. , and Takahashi, W. , 1993, “ Flame Height Behavior From Multi‐Fire Sources,” Fire Mater., 17(3), pp. 111–117. [CrossRef]
Weng, W. , Kamikawa, D. , and Fukuda, Y. , 2004, “ Study on Flame Height of Merged Flame From Multiple Fire Sources,” Combust. Sci. Technol., 176(12), pp. 2105–2123. [CrossRef]
Kamikawa, D. , Weng, W. , and Kagiya, K. , 2005, “ Experimental Study of Merged Flames From Multifire Sources in Propane and Wood Crib Burners,” Combust. Flame, 142(1–2), pp. 17–23. [CrossRef]
Liu, N. , Liu, Q. , and Lozano, J. S. , 2013, “ Multiple Fire Interactions: A Further Investigation by Burning Rate Data of Square Fire Arrays,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 34(2), pp. 2555–2564. [CrossRef]
Consalvi, J. , and Demarco, R. , 2012, “ Modelling Thermal Radiation From One-Meter Diameter Methane Pool Fires,” J. Phys.: Conf. Ser., 369, p. 012012. [CrossRef]
Drysdale, D. , 2011, An Introduction to Fire Dynamics, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ. [CrossRef]
Zheng, B. , and Chen, G. , 2011, “ Storage Tank Fire Accidents,” Process Saf. Prog., 30(3), pp. 291–293. [CrossRef]
Gupta, S. , and Chan, S. , 2016, “ A CFD Based Explosion Risk Analysis Methodology Using Time Varying Release Rates in Dispersion Simulations,” J. Loss Prev. Process Ind., 39, pp. 59–67. [CrossRef]
Ponniah, A. , Sourirajan, V. , and Fung, J. , 2016, “ Emergency Shutdown Valve for Pump and Compressor Isolation: A Review of the Basis,” Chem. Eng. Trans., 48, pp. 667–672.
Jahn, W. , Rein, G. , and Torero, J. L. , 2008, “ The Effect of Model Parameters on the Simulation of Fire Dynamics,” Fire Saf. Sci., 9, pp. 1341–1352. [CrossRef]
Zhou, K. , and Jiang, J. , 2016, “ Thermal Radiation From Vertical Turbulent Jet Flame: Line Source Model,” ASME J. Heat Transfer, 138(4), p. 042701. [CrossRef]
Hawthorne, W. , Weddell, D. , and Hottel, H. , 1948, “ Mixing and Combustion in Turbulent Gas Jets,” Symp. Combust. Flame, Explos. Phenom., 3(1), pp. 266–288. [CrossRef]
Ricou, F. P. , and Spalding, D. , 1961, “ Measurements of Entrainment by Axisymmetrical Turbulent Jets,” J. Fluid Mech., 11(1), pp. 21–32. [CrossRef]
Zukoski, E. E. , Kubota, T. , and Cetegen, B. , 1981, “ Entrainment in Fire Plumes,” Fire Saf. J., 3(3), pp. 107–121. [CrossRef]
Heskestad, G. , 1983, “ Luminous Heights of Turbulent Diffusion Flames,” Fire Saf. J., 5(2), pp. 103–108. [CrossRef]
Cox, G. , and Chitty, R. , 1985, “ Some Source-Dependent Effects of Unbounded Fires,” Combust. Flame, 60(3), pp. 219–232. [CrossRef]
Zukoski, E. E. , 1995, “ Properties of Fire Plumes,” Combustion Fundamentals of Fire, G. Cox , ed., Academic Press, London, pp. 101–219.
Bagster, D. F. , and Schubach, S. A. , 1996, “ The Prediction of Jet-Fire Dimensions,” J. Loss Prev. Process Ind., 9(3), pp. 241–245. [CrossRef]
Yuan, L. , and Cox, G. , 1996, “ An Experimental Study of Some Line Fires,” Fire Saf. J., 27(2), pp. 123–139. [CrossRef]
Lowesmith, B. J. , Hankinson, G. , and Acton, M. , 2007, “ An Overview of the Nature of Hydrocarbon Jet Fire Hazards in the Oil and Gas Industry and a Simplified Approach to Assessing the Hazards,” Process Saf. Environ. Prot., 85(3), pp. 207–220. [CrossRef]
Bradley, D. , Casal, J. , and Gaskell, P. , 2013, “ Jet Flames, Flares and Pool Fires: Predictions of Flame Lift-Off, Plume and Flame Height Under Choked and Unchoked Conditions,” Seventh International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards, Providence, RI, May 5–10, pp. 200–209.
Bradley, D. , Gaskell, P. H. , and Gu, X. , 2016, “ Jet Flame Heights, Lift-Off Distances, and Mean Flame Surface Density for Extensive Ranges of Fuels and Flow Rates,” Combust. Flame, 164, pp. 400–409. [CrossRef]
Cho, E. , Danon, B. , and De Jong, W. , 2011, “ Behavior of a 300 kWth Regenerative Multi-Burner Flameless Oxidation Furnace,” Appl. Energy, 88(12), pp. 4952–4959. [CrossRef]
Ma, T. , and Quintiere, J. , 2003, “ Numerical Simulation of Axi-Symmetric Fire Plumes: Accuracy and Limitations,” Fire Saf. J., 38(5), pp. 467–492. [CrossRef]
Sun, X. , Hu, L. , and Chow, W. , 2011, “ A Theoretical Model to Predict Plume Rise in Shaft Generated by Growing Compartment Fire,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 54(4), pp. 910–920. [CrossRef]
Jahn, W. , Gonzalez, O. , and de Dios Rivera, J. , 2015, “ Using Computational Fluid Dynamics in the Forensic Analysis of a Prison Fire,” Forensic Sci. Int., 253, pp. e33–e42. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Yuen, A. , Yeoh, G. , and Yuen, R. , 2016, “ Numerical Study on Small-Scale Fire Whirl Using Large Eddy Simulation,” Third International Conference on Fluid Flow, Heat and Mass Transfer, Ottawa, ON, Canada, May 2–3, pp. 165-1–165-8. https://avestia.com/FFHMT2016_Proceedings/files/paper/165.pdf
Mell, W. E. , Manzello, S. L. , and Maranghides, A. , 2006, “ Numerical Modeling of Fire Spread Through Trees and Shrubs,” Ecol. Manage., 234(1), p. S82. [CrossRef]
Vidmar, P. , and Petelin, S. , 2006, “ Analysis of the Effect of an External Fire on the Safety Operation of a Power Plant,” Fire Saf. J., 41(6), pp. 486–490. [CrossRef]
Rusch, D. , Blum, L. , and Moser, A. , 2008, “ Turbulence Model Validation for Fire Simulation by CFD and Experimental Investigation of a Hot Jet in Crossflow,” Fire Saf. J., 43(6), pp. 429–441. [CrossRef]
Brennan, S. , Makarov, D. , and Molkov, V. , 2009, “ LES of High Pressure Hydrogen Jet Fire,” J. Loss Prev. Process Ind., 22(3), pp. 353–359. [CrossRef]
Pope, S. B. , 2000, “Turbulent Flows,” Cambridge University Press, New York. [CrossRef]
Zukoski, E. , Cetegen, B. , and Kubota, T. , 1985, “ Visible Structure of Buoyant Diffusion Flames,” Symp. (Int.) Combust., 20(1), pp. 361–366. [CrossRef]
Heskestad, G. , 1998, “ Dynamics of the Fire Plume,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London Ser. A: Math., Phys. Eng. Sci., 356(1748), pp. 2815–2834. [CrossRef]
Baldwin, R. , 1968, “ Flame Merging in Multiple Fires,” Combust. Flame, 12(4), pp. 318–324. [CrossRef]
Liu, N. , Liu, Q. , and Deng, Z. , 2007, “ Burn-out Time Data Analysis on Interaction Effects Among Multiple Fires in Fire Arrays,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 31(2), pp. 2589–2597. [CrossRef]
Becker, H. , and Yamazaki, S. , 1978, “ Entrainment, Momentum Flux and Temperature in Vertical Free Turbulent Diffusion Flames,” Combust. Flame, 33, pp. 123–149. [CrossRef]
Ho, T. C. , Fu, S. C. , and Chao, C. Y. , 2016, “ Investigation of Flame Height From Multiple Liquefied Natural Gas Fire,” ASME Paper No. POWER2016-59567.
Baillie, S. , Caulfield, M. , and Cook, D. , 1998, “ A Phenomenological Model for Predicting the Thermal Loading to a Cylindrical Vessel Impacted by High Pressure Natural Gas Jet Fires,” Process Saf. Environ. Prot., 76(1), pp. 3–13. [CrossRef]
Beyler, C. L. , 2016, “ Fire Hazard Calculations for Large, Open Hydrocarbon Fires,” SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, M. J. Hurley , D. T. Gottuk , and J. R. Hall, Jr. , eds., Springer, New York, pp. 2591–2663. [CrossRef]
Cai, J. , Marquez, R. , and Modest, M. F. , 2014, “ Comparisons of Radiative Heat Transfer Calculations in a Jet Diffusion Flame Using Spherical Harmonics and k-Distributions,” ASME J. Heat Transfer, 136(11), p. 112702. [CrossRef]
McCaffrey, B. , 1989, “ Momentum Diffusion Flame Characteristics and the Effects of Water Spray,” Combust. Sci. Technol., 63(4–6), pp. 315–335. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic of a two jet fires

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Schematic of core zones and outer zone for single jet and double jet fires

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Calculated flame heights for different (a) height of core zone (total height of both upper and lower core zones) and (b) width of domain

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Grid analysis in core zones (a) flame height and (b) maximum flame diameter

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

(a) temperature profiles from different radiation models, (b) areas under temperature profiles, and (c) temperature at the middle point from different radiation models

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Validation of the models by existing experimental data (a) single jet fire, (b) line fire, and (c) double line fires

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Instantaneous flame height of a single jet fire

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Average flame height of single fire under different release velocities

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

The average positional flame height along A-A' with different D (v = 50 m/s)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Location of flame tip against separation distance in different release velocities

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Average flame heights with different release velocity and separation distance

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Relationship between (H−Ho)/(Hmax−Ho) and separation distance

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Methane fraction by weight at line B-B' for v = 50 m/s

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Temperature profile at B−B' for v = 50 m/s (a) height and (b) normalized height z/Hx

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Temperature profile at B−B' from different release velocities (a) height and (b) normalized height z/Hx




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In