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Modeling of underground hydrogen pipelines

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Hydrogen is a critical component in the production of cleaner fuels. Underground pipelines provide a safe, reliable supply of hydrogen to refineries and the petroleum industry. Proper assessment of the risks associated with underground hydrogen pipelines requires an accurate model of the jet fire consequence. This article will describe experimental and modeling work undertaken in order to define the appropriate methodology for utilizing DNV's PHAST software tool to represent the hydrogen jet fire from the rupture of underground hydrogen pipelines. Two experiments were conducted to measure the flow and radiation from an intentionally ignited rupture of a 6 in. diameter, 60 barg hydrogen pipeline buried 1 m underground. Adjustments to PHAST modeling parameters were required in order to obtain agreement between the measured and predicted radiation and flame length values. The modeling assumptions and parameter adjustments include:

  • Velocity modification to account for interaction of the flow out of the two ends of the ruptured pipe and to model the subsequent discharge from the crater.
  • Specification of the fraction of heat radiated.
  • Specification of the angle of the release.

© 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2013