A method to accurately understand the processes controlling the burning behavior of porous wildland fuels is presented using numerical simulations and laboratory experiments. A multiphase approach has been implemented in OpenFOAM, which is based on the FireFOAM solver for large eddy simulations (LES). Conservation equations are averaged in a control volume containing a gas and a solid phase. Drying, pyrolysis, and char oxidation are described by interaction between the two phases. Numerical simulations are compared to laboratory experiments carried out with porous pine needle beds in the FM Global Fire Propagation Apparatus (FPA). These experiments are used to support the use and the development of submodels that represent heat transfer, pyrolysis, gas-phase combustion, and smoldering processes. The model is tested for different bulk densities, two distinct species and two different radiative heat fluxes used to heat up the samples. It has been possible to reproduce mass loss rates, heat release rates, and temperatures that agree with experimental observations, and to highlight the current limitations of the model.
|Journal||Combustion and Flame|
|Early online date||5 May 2016|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 5 May 2016|