Performance Testing of Fire Protection Systems in Tunnels: Integrating Test Data with CFD Simulations

Published:  14 April, 2010

This paper discusses the dynamic nature of very large fire tests that were conducted in a tunnel test facility in San Pedro de Anes in Spain in 2006, and describes highlights of the FDS4 simulation of one of five tests that were simulated. The high cost of conducting large, full-scale fire tests for the evaluation of active fire suppression systems in tunnels tends to limit both the extent of the instrumentation provided and the number of tests that are conducted. Because of the turbulent complexity of large test fires in tunnels, performance criteria based on single point measurements derived from experience with much smaller test fires are not reliable measures of the overall benefits of the system. A means was sought to reduce the reliance on single point instrumentation readings, and to augment the value of the limited amount of test data by integrating the field testing with CFD modeling.

In this study the NIST Fire Dynamics Simulator version 4 (FDS4), a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model, was used to simulate a series of full-scale fire tests of water mist systems conducted in a test tunnel. The objective was to show that the CFD simulations could be at least partially validated by demonstrating a reasonable degree of agreement with the conditions measured in the tests. The model could then be used to evaluate the performance of the water mist system under conditions that were not tested. The level of agreement between the fire tests results and the results of the simulation was deemed to be good enough to establish confidence in applying the model to examine the conditions that would occur with an unsuppressed fire, which had not been tested.

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Waterax - We move water

Trusted by wildland firefighters around the world, WATERAX sets the industry standard by developing innovative, portable fire pumps and water-handling equipment designed to withstand demanding applications and rugged environments.

Big Water Flow for Industrial and Municipal Firefighting Applications

Protecting the lives of the public and firefighters while limiting the structural damage caused in large scale fires is our primary mission

We are committed to improving lives and doing business in the right way

We have a unique mix of capability and culture that we refer to as 3M Science and we strive to develop products that improve people’s daily lives in a multitude of ways.

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.