A risk-based optimal pressure relief opening design for gas explosions in underground utility tunnels

Ying Xu, Yimiao Huang, Jingde Li, Guowei Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A gas explosion is one of the main hazards of underground utility tunnels (UUTs), and the explosion overpressure can have catastrophic consequences. A pressure relief opening (PRO) can be an effective method of reducing the risk of an explosion. However, most existing UUTs in China are not configurated with a PRO. Therefore, the present study proposes a risk-based PRO design to explore the optimal layout for UUTs. Both dispersion and explosion simulations using Flame ACceleration Simulator (FLACS) were conducted to calculate the maximum overpressures, and then probabilistic studies were applied for risk analysis. The FLACS simulation results show that PROs can significantly reduce the maximum explosion overpressure from 2.23 bar to 1.97 bar. An ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Practicable) concept was applied to provide a risk reference for the design of a PRO in UUTs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104091
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Volume116
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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