A smoke detector activation algorithm for large eddy simulation fire modeling

Wei Zhang, Stephen M. Olenick, Michael S. Klassen, Douglas J. Carpenter, Richard J. Roby, Jose Torero-Cullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study chronicles the development and integration of a smoke detector activation algorithm (known as the SDAA) that describes the response time of a smoke detector into a large eddy simulation (LES) fire model [Roby RJ, Olenick SM, Zhang W, Carpenter DJ, Klassen MS, Torero JL. Smoke detector activation algorithm version I technical reference guide. NISTIR Report; 2006, in press]. Although the SDAA could be used with any CFD smoke movement model, the results here address specifically its application to the fire dynamics simulator (FDS). The fire model predicts the smoke concentration and velocity adjacent to the detector while an algorithm based on characteristic velocity-based lag times describes the transport of smoke into the sensing chamber of the smoke detector. The experimental data from a multi-room compartment fire were used for comparison and a series of benchmark studies provide a mechanism to establish the sensitivity of the model to the different input parameters. The SDAA was found to be very accurate in determining detector activation times for both high- and low-velocity smoke flows. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-107
Number of pages12
JournalFire Safety Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • smoke detection
  • detector delay time
  • FDS
  • smoke detector response
  • smoke detector activation algorithm

Cite this