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High Pressure Release and Dispersion of Hydrogen in a Partially Enclosed Compartment : Effect of Natural and Forced Ventilation



Kuldeep R. Prasad


The study of compressed hydrogen releases from high-pressure storage systems has practical application for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Such releases may occur either due to accidental damage to a storage tank, connecting piping, or due to failure of a pressure release device (PRD). Understanding hydrogen behavior during and after the unintended release from a high pressure storage device is important for development of appropriate hydrogen safety codes and standards and for the evaluation of risk mitigation requirements and technologies. In this paper, the natural and forced mixing and dispersion of hydrogen released from a high pressure tank into a partially enclosed compartment is investigated using analytical models. Simple models are developed to estimate the volumetric flow rate through a choked nozzle of a high pressure tank. The hydrogen released in the compartment is vented through buoyancy induced flow or through forced ventilation. The model is useful in understanding the important physical processes involved during the release and dispersion of hydrogen from a high pressure tank into a compartment with vents at multiple levels. Parametric studies are presented to identify the relative importance of various parameters such as diameter of the release port and air changes per hour (ACH) characteristic of the enclosure. Compartment overpressure as a function of the size of the release port is predicted. Conditions that can lead to major damage of the compartment due to overpressure are identified. Results of the analytical model indicate that the fastest way to reduce flammable levels of hydrogen concentration in a compartment is by blowing through the vents. Model predictions for forced ventilation are presented which show that it is feasible to effectively and rapidly reduce the flammable concentration of hydrogen in the compartment following the release of hydrogen from a high pressure tank.
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy


High Pressure Release, Dispersion, Hydrogen


Prasad, K. (2014), High Pressure Release and Dispersion of Hydrogen in a Partially Enclosed Compartment : Effect of Natural and Forced Ventilation, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, [online], (Accessed June 24, 2024)


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Created March 14, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018