LES analysis of fire source aspect ratio effects on fire-wind enhancement

Esmaeel Eftekharian*, Fatemeh Salehi, Yaping He, Kenny C. S. Kwok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Enhancement of wind by bushfire, referred to as bushfire-wind enhancement phenomenon, causes damages to buildings located in bushfire-prone areas by increasing pressure load around the structures. This study focuses on the effects of point source aspect ratio (AR) on the wind enhanced by fire. FireFOAM solver of OpenFOAM platform is used to perform Large Eddy Simulation analysis for different fire source aspect ratios under two different fire source conditions: (i) identical fire intensity (fire heat release rate per unit area) and (ii) identical fire heat release rate conditions. Simulations were performed for three different fire source aspect ratios under these fire source boundary conditions. An appropriate normalization group based on fire source hydraulic diameter was introduced for fire-induced pressure gradient to explain the variation of wind enhancement with fire source aspect ratio. The results reveal that under a constant fire intensity condition, increasing the fire source aspect ratio causes a higher normalized fire-induced pressure gradient which leads to more intensified wind enhancement. In contrast, the increase of fire source aspect ratio while fire heat release rate is kept constant culminates in a reduction in the normalized fire-induced pressure gradient, reducing wind enhancement. Moreover, with the increase of the fire source aspect ratio, the area of counter-rotating vortices (CRV) where maximum wind enhancement occurs is expanded. The results also show that with the increase of fire source aspect ratio, the length of flame attachment to the ground immediately downstream of fire increases. In addition to the longitudinal wind enhancement, the effects of fire source aspect ratio on vertical velocity were also analyzed based on the Richardson number defined by hydraulic diameter and flow reference velocity. The effects of the aspect ratio on flame length were also studied. It was shown as a result of the increase of aspect ratio for one unit, flame length increases by approximately 14% and reduces by 7% under constant fire intensity and constant fire heat release rate condition, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108803
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
Volume89
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Fire-wind interaction
  • Wind enhancement
  • Fire-source aspect ratio
  • Normalised pressure gradient

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