LONGITUDINAL AIR VELOCITY CONTROL IN A ROAD TUNNEL DURING A FIRE EVENT

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1 LONGITUDINAL AIR VELOCITY CONTROL IN A ROAD TUNNEL DURING A FIRE EVENT R. Borchiellini, V. Ferro, V. Giaretto Energy Department Politecnico di Torino Italy ABSTRACT Ventilation equipment is used during a fire event in a tunnel with bi-directional traffic and a transverse ventilation system to obtain two main aims: a) an air velocity lower than 1.5 m/s to make the smoke extraction near the fire position easier using open fire extraction dumpers; b) to limit diffusion of the combustion products along the tunnel to allow the fire brigades to operate. To obtain these aims, a great number of choices can be made by the ventilation manager (i.e. the position and the amount of fresh air that is supplied, the number and the operating point of the extraction fans and the number of open dumpers in the fire zone). Furthermore, the impact of these choices on the air velocity and on smoke diffusion along the tunnel is influenced by the boundary conditions of the system: the outside temperature and pressure, including wind effects. The complex ventilation network (main tube and ventilation ducts) of the Frejus tunnel is modelled in this paper using the graph theory. The possibilities of achieving the main aims has been investigated, studying a large number of situations. Each situation has been defined taking into account the following parameters: the outside weather conditions, fire position, operating extraction fans, wind effects at the tunnel portals and the amount and position of the supplied fresh air. The obtained results show the air velocity and temperature distribution along the tunnel. The knowledge of the air velocity distribution allows one to verify whether the requirements concerning combustion product diffusion have been satisfied. Finally, the large number of obtained results has been analysed to outline general rules for the management of ventilation when a fire accident occurs. Key words: fire event, transverse ventilation, bi-directional traffic, graph theory, thermofluid-dynamics analysis

2 INTRODUCTION The management of a fire event with special emphasis on the role of the ventilation system, is a very important topic can be seen by the large number of papers that have been published and by the large number of experimental tests that have been carried out (PIARC, 1999, Lacroix et al., 1994, EUREKA, 1995). A particular case concerning this topic is the case of the transverse ventilation system without jet fans in a bi-directional tunnel; this is the case of the here studied Frejus tunnel. During a fire event, the action of the ventilation system is aimed at obtaining some main goals, that is to avoid backlayering, to obtain a longitudinal air velocity of less than 1.5 m/s in order to allow smoke stratification and to keep the smoke in the zone of the open fire dumpers. A large set of experimental tests and analytical studies have been developed to outline the best operative procedures that should be followed by the operator of the ventilation system in the case of fire; the work here illustrated belongs to this set of activities. This work is part of wider investigation that has been promoted conjunctly by SITAF and SFTRF (the companies which operate the Frejus tunnel); the plan of the activity after this investigation, which has been developed in steady-state conditions, includes simulation in transient conditions. The steady state hypothesis has been chosen in order to have the opportunity of performing a huge number of simulations; this is the case when the settings of the ventilation system have to be found to obtain the complete removal of the smoke and to allow fresh air out to go of the portals, which means that a nil velocity point exists inside the tunnel. Although one-dimensional steady-state hypotheses are used, the system is too complex for manual calculation, therefore a computer must be used to solve the equations; an easy way to describe the system to the computer is to represent this as a network. A partial sketch of the network that was used is shown in Figure 1; the part here shown corresponds to a segment about 4 m long. The complete network is more than thirty times the network shown in Figure 1. The study of the behaviour of the thermo-fluid-dynamic system is here modelled using the graph theory in which the system is represented by edges connected to nodes. The obtained numerical results define the flow, pressure and the temperature distribution along the tunnel and the ventilation ducts. The model is fully described in Ferro et al. (1991) e Ferro et al. (1992). The graph-theory is very useful to give a mathematical representation of the system but in order to completely describe the system behaviour it is necessary to describe the physical phenomena that take place inside each edge of the network. The here considered system is not isothermal therefore the energy and the momentum equations should be used together. For this coupled problem, the model approach is that of considering the two equations one at a time, linked by the air state equation. The network model (main tube, ventilation ducts and shafts) has been applied to solve a large variety of different situations that can occur during fire events; the implemented network takes into account all the fire dumpers and ventilation ducts and models the fresh air outlets (5 m step) as a continuous fissure along the main tube. The network set-up has been executed using the results of the experimental measurement campaign developed for the Frejus tunnel in order to verify the efficiency of each exhaust station (SETEC, 2). From these data it has been possible to calibrate the network, assigning at each ventilation station, the single resistance loss coefficient values that allow to obtain the maximum likelihood between the calculated and measured air flow rate. The resulting relative shift ranges between ±5%.

3 SUPPLIED FRESH AIR UNIFORM AIR FLOW RATE PER LENGHT IN THE TUNNEL SECTION FRENCH PORTAL SPECIAL EDGE (continuos fissure) OPEN FIRE DUMPERS OPEN FIRE DUMPERS OPEN FIRE DUMPERS MAIN TUBE OPEN FIRE DUMPERS EXHAUST AIR FANS STATION EXTRACTION DUCT FIRE POSITION VENTILATION STATIONS LAYOUT ON THE WHOLE TUNNEL FRESH AIR A B1 B2 C1 C2 D TOP OF THE EXTRACTION SHAFT F SECTION SECTION SECTION SECTION SECTION SECTION I A B1 B2 C1 C2 D EXHAUST AIR Figure 1 Sketch of network used to model the ventilation system and the main tube.

4 THE STUDIED CASES As is well known, the Frejus tunnel presents the following main characteristics: main tube length m; main tunnel cross-section area 46.5 m 2 ; main tunnel cross-section perimeter 28.8 m; difference in level between the Italian (1297 m a.s.l.) and French (1228 m a.s.l.) portals; transversal ventilation (257 fresh air outlets); six ventilation stations (two at the portals and two double stations underground, located approximately at 43 m from the ends, connected to two ventilation shafts) connected to six tunnel section; number of fire dumpers (1 m 2 each) 98. The parameters taken into account for designing the set of cases are the following: outside weather conditions (air temperature, barometric pressure, wind effects on tunnel portals); fire position along the tunnel; operating extraction fans; amount and position of the supplied fresh air. The outside weather conditions were chosen taking available historical data collected over different periods of the year into considerations. Three sets of outside weather conditions, corresponding to, the summer, the winter and the others seasons here indicated as middle season were considered in paticular. The adopted outside weather conditions at the portals and at the top of the ventilation shafts are reported in Table 1 The wind effect was only considered at the tunnel portals one at a time, assigning an overpressure that ranged between 5 and 1 Pa. Summer Middle season Winter Outside Barometric Temperature Barometric Temperature Barometric Temperature point press. (Pa) ( C) press. (Pa) ( C) press. (Pa) ( C) French portal Shaft B Shaft A Italian portal Shaft C Shaft D Table 1 Outside weather conditions Eighteen different fire positions were considered along the tunnel, that is, three positions for each tunnel section. The fire event was taken into account by setting the temperature distribution of the combustion products around the place of the fire (Eureka, 1995), as shown in Figure 2. The number of open dumpers in the fire zone, the choice of the operating extraction fans, the amount and the position of the supplied fresh air, represent the only operating way of controlling the smoke motion in the main tube. A great number of different situations were analysed to find a link between the operating criteria of the ventilation system and the smoke diffusion along the tunnel. The set of cases includes about six hundred instances which could occur so as to develop a parametric study of the tunnel behaviour while varying the previous mentioned variables (outside weather conditions, wind effects, amount and position of the supplied fresh air, etc.). A few of the more representative studied cases are illustrated in the next paragraph.

5 Temperature C 6 4 T_measured T_fitted T_used Distance from the middle open damper (m) 3. ANALYSIS RESULTS Figure 2 Temperature profile used for fire simulation The performed analysis can be split into two main parts. In the first one the fresh air is only introduced into the tunnel section where the fire event occurs; the smoke motion was calculated, when seven fire dumpers were open near the place of the fire for each outside weather condition, with or without wind effects, and varying the fire position along the tunnel. Independently of the external conditions and fire position, the tunnel behaviour was observed, in this part of the analysis, when the following common actions had been accomplished in the tunnel section where the fire occurred: extraction of the smoke using the maximum power of the station and supplying fresh air at 2% of the maximum power of the station (about 51 m 3 /s for any ventilation station). In the second part, the amounts and the positions of the introduced fresh air, necessary for reaching the main aims, were carefully investigated to try to find some general rules for the ventilation management. Some typical situations are here illustrated as an example of the first part of the analysis. Referring to the climatic period identified as the middle season, when the fire accident occurs at the beginning of the tunnel ventilation section denominated S4 (see Figure 1), the air velocity along the main tube is shown in Figure 3-a for the case without any wind effect at the portals. Figure 3-b and Figure 3-c shown the results when a wind pressure of 5 Pa is applied to the French or Italian portals, respectively. Figure 3-a shows that the main purposes are verified, in order to control the smoke diffusion and limit the air velocity in the fire zone up to 1.5 m/s. On the contrary, when the wind acts at the French portal (Figure 3-b), smoke diffusion is avoided, but the air velocity in the fire zone is greater than the assigned limit. When the wind acts at the Italian portal (Figure 3-c), neither of the main aims are achieved. The temperature profile for the three cases is illustrated in Figure 4. An examination of all the studied situations in the first analysis, allows one to make the following remarks. All the considered variables are able to influence the smoke diffusion in the tunnel, in particular the outside weather conditions and the wind effect at the portals. More precisely, greater impact is due to the stack effect along the tube, which depends on the external and internal temperature and pressure conditions. The results of this part of the analysis are concisely summarised in Figure 5. The cases, when the smoke diffusion and smoke velocity in the fire zone are controlled, are outlined through their relative frequencies

6 for each external examined condition, as a function of the differences in the effective pressure between the portals (stack effect). 4.5 Velocity (m/s) a - Without wind effect b - Wind pressure on French portal c - Wind pressure on Italian portal Distance from the French portal (m) Figure 3 Velocity profile for the example cases 1 Temperature C 1 1 a - Without wind pressure b - Wind pressure on French portal c - Wind pressure on Italian portal Distance from the French portal (m) Figure 4 Temperature profile for the example cases As can clearly be seen in Figure 5, when the stack effect ranges between a few tens of pascal from France to Italy it is possible, in some cases, to control the smoke diffusion and smoke velocity in the fire zone. On the contrary, when the stack effect is greater than a few tens of pascal or the effective pressure differences between the portals are negative (wind pressure on the Italian portal), it is practically impossible to control the smoke diffusion along the tunnel with the assigned ventilation criteria. A similar behaviour was also obtained, for the same external conditions and fire positions in the tunnel, when the fresh air is supplied to all the tunnel sections at the same flow rate for each station. The obtained results for the middle season are summarised in Figures 6, 7 and 8. Each figure shows a histogram split into six parts, each of which refers to the relative tunnel section. Each of these parts represents the studied situation in which the fire accident occurs exactly in that tunnel section. Each of these reports three bars. The middle one (negative values) represents the flow rate extracted by the seven open fire dumpers in the fire zone. The right and left bars

7 represent the entire supplied fresh air flow rate, with respect to the fire position, in the right and left sides of the tunnel, respectively. Effective pressure difference between the French and Italian portals (Pa) Winter (1 Pa wind I portal) Middle season (1 Pa wind I portal) Summer (1 Pa wind I portal) Winter (5 Pa wind I portal) Middle Season (5 Pa wind I portal) Relative frequency (%) Summer (5 Pa windi portal) Winter (no wind) Middle season (no wind) Summer (no wind) Winter (5 Pa wind F portal) Middle season (5 Pa wind F portal) Summer (5 Pa wind F portal) Winter (1 Pa wind F portal) Middle season (1 Pa wind F portal) Summer (1 Pa wind F portal) Smoke control Smoke and velocity control Figure 5 Summary of the results of the first part of the analysis More precisely, the right side of the tunnel represents the part that extends from the place of the fire to the Italian portal, while the left one is the part of the tunnel that extends from the place of the fire to the French portal. 4 Outlet smoke (m 3 /s) Inlet fresh air (m 3 /s) SECTION 1 SECTION 2 SECTION 3 SECTION 4 SECTION 5 SECTION 6-3 Position of the fire along the tunnel Figure 6 - Extracted smoke and supplied fresh air. Case without wind pressure

8 Figure 6, which refers to external conditions without wind pressure at the portals, shows a quasi anti-symmetrical trend of the fresh air amount supplied to the right and left of the fire. This quasi anti-symmetrical trend is due to the stack effect along the main tube which acts in the France to Italy direction. When the fire is located near the French portal, fresh air is supplied to right part of the tunnel, on the contrary, when the fire is located near to the Italian portal, fresh air is supplied to the left part. When the fire is positioned in the central part of the tunnel, a perfect symmetrical amount of fresh air is supplied to the right and the left sides. In the cases in which the wind acts at the French portal, with respect to the previous situation, the required amount of fresh air at the right side of the tunnel increases, and decreases at the left side only when the fire is located near the Italian portal. Figure 7 shows this situation for wind pressure of 5 Pa at the French portal. These highlight how necessary is to counteract the effects of the wind by suitably varying the amount of supplied fresh air in order to achieve the main aims Outlet smoke (m 3 /s) Inlet fresh air (m 3 /s) SECTION 1 SECTION 2 SECTION 3 SECTION 4 SECTION 5 SECTION 6-3 Position of the fire along the tunnel Figure 7 - Extracted smoke and supplied fresh air. Wind pressure on French portal (5 Pa) Outlet smoke (m 3 /s) Inlet fresh air (m 3 /s) SECTION 1 SECTION 2 SECTION 3 SECTION 4 SECTION 5 SECTION 6-3 Position of the fire along the tunnel Figure 8- Extracted smoke and supplied fresh air. Wind pressure on Italian portal (5 Pa)

9 In the cases where the wind acts at the Italian portal, in order to stop the wind action, when the fire is positioned near the French portal it is in fact also necessary to extract air near the Italian portal as can be seen in Figure 8 from the negative values of the fresh air amount on the right side of the tunnel (right bars). In this situation, when the fire accident occurs near the Italian portal, the amount of fresh air supplied to the left side increases significantly with respect to the previous cases. 4. CONCLUSION More than 9 different fire event situations were simulated and analysed. The obtained set of results allows one to know the behaviour of the complex tunnel-ventilation system for a huge number of different situations but which does not constitute an exhaustive set although it includes many possible and/or probable situations. The variable used here to summarise the results and the system behaviour are the extracted flow rate and the longitudinal air velocity along the tunnel. The used parameters are the fire position, the fresh air flow rate, the barometric pressure, the weather conditions and the wind action at the tunnel portals. The analysis results allows one to discover that the extracted flow rate is weakly influenced by the previous parameters while a strong influence of these parameters can be obtained by the longitudinal air velocity. The performed simulations have shown that at least one configuration of the ventilation system always exists that allows one to achieve the goals defined in the introduction of this paper. The results require to be confirmed by a further planned transient analysis in order to use them to define new rules for the operation of the ventilation system in the case of fire. 5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The authors would like to thank SITAF and SFTRF for allowing the publication of this work. LITERATURE Darpas Y., (2) Tunnel routier du Frejus Controle de la vitesse de l air Note Techinique Preliminaire ref. S/T/Z/V/1 December 2 (private communication). EUREKA-project EU 499 Firetun (1995): Report on Full Scale Test on Fires in Trasport Tunnel, ed. Studiengesellschaft Stahlanwendung e V., Dusseldorf, May Ferro V., Borchiellini R., Giaretto V. (1991) Description and Application of a Tunnel Simulation Model Aerodynamics and Ventilation of Vehicle Tunnels Elsevier Applied Science, London, 1991 pp Ferro V., Borchiellini R., Giaretto V. (1992) Ventilation and traffic control plants for a tunnel passing under an urban area in "Toward New Worlds in Tunnelling" Balkema Rotterdam 1992 pp Lacroix D., Chasse P., Muller T.,(1994) Small Scale Study of Smoke Trap Door System Aerodynamics and Ventilation of Vehicle Tunnels Mechanical Engineering Publications Limited London 1994, pp Luchian S. et al. Memorial Tunnel Fire Ventilation Test Program Comprehensive Test Report Parsons Brinckerhoff, Boston, (Interactive CD-ROM). PIARC (1999) Fire and Smoke Control in Road Tunnels 5.5.B, ISBN SETEC Air flow rate measurement by HOWDEN e SPIE (2) - Final report ref. TPI /S/T/Z/97/BS/ml. (private communication)

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