A Quantitative A naly sis of the Fire Hazard Generated from Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles
- Sungwook Kang Kyu Min Lee Minjae Kwon Ohk Kun Lim Joung Yoon Choi
- International Journal of Fire Science and Engineering
- Vol. 36, No. 2
- 26 - 39 (14 pages)
There is a lack of information on (i) the potential fire load of new green-technology vehicles, (ii) flame spread behavior, (iii) thermal impacts on high-pressure hydrogen storage vessels (HSVs) and lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) during fuel cell electric vehicles fires (FCEVs), and (iv) thermal damage to adjacent vehicles and upper structural members during FCEV fires occurring in civil structures, such as underground spaces, multi-story parks, and tunnels. In view of this, a full-scale fire test was conducted in this study to quantitatively assess the fire risk of hydrogen FCEVs. Large-scale cone calorimetry was used to quantify the thermal intensity released from the FCEV fire. The flame spreading behavior through an FCEV with HSVs and LIBs was observed using the thermocouples installed. Changes in the temperature and irradiance around the FCEV fire were also measured using an instrumented test rig. The peak heat release rate, total heat released, and fire growth rate were observed to be 5.99 MW, 11.8 GJ, and 0.0055 kW/s², respectively. The temporal point of hydrogen gas release from the HSVs' thermal pressure relief device (TPRD) was estimated to be 16.2-26.2 min. The initiation of thermal runaway of LIBs was deduced from the temperature-time profiles of the LIB modules and their metal housing approximately 22.2 min after HCEV ignition. Moreover, FCEV fires could thermally impair adjacent upper structural members by 800 ℃ combustion gas for at least 13 min and emit a median heat flux of 27.2 kW/m² (peak heat flux of 76.5 kW/m²) to adjacent vehicles. The measurements and findings obtained from this study can contribute to the evaluation of and further studies on newly emerging fire hazards.
3. Results and Discussion
Conflicts of Interest