Gexcon/FLACS User Group

Technip-hosted Paris meet hears from research into full scale hydrogen explosions, from ‘MEASURE, the ‘modelling escalating accident scenarios’ JIP, and on a new integrated validation framework. Gexcon US reports on RPSEA collaboration that is ‘overturning industry safety design practices.'

The Gexcon/FLACS* user group, held in Technip’s Paris office late last year, heard from Gexcon’s Trygve Skjold on on-going R&D activities and the results from the EU-funded HySEA project and the ‘Measure’ JIP. In HySEA is performing full-scale hydrogen explosion experiments in 20-foot ISO containers. Last years tests dealt with homogeneous mixtures, the 2017 campaign will extend this work to more realistic releases. HySEA is part funded under the EU Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 program.

Gexcon is about to complete the Measure JIP (modelling escalating accident scenarios). A prototype of FLACS with improved turbulence and combustion models will be delivered to sponsors Statoil, Total, Engie, DNV GL, ExxonMobil and BP. Pending sponsors’ agreement, the updated system will be made available to all FLACS users later this year.

Gexcon’s Sunil Lakshmipathy provided an update on the FLACS ‘integrated validation framework.’ This includes a database of summary validation cases using ‘over-prediction’ (i.e. conservative results) rather underprediction. Other tweaks will make it easier for users of the software to relate the experimental results to their particular application, and hence to evaluate the relevance of the validation cases in the database.

Scott Davis (Gexcon US) presented work performed in an RPSEA-sponsored project to develop advanced CFD** tools to predict explosion pressure and deflagration risk at drilling and production facilities. The project involved building full scale generic models of offshore platforms and then blowing them up! This has so far revealed that current industry safety design practice ‘is in serious error.’ RPSEA and Gexcon are now working to overturn current engineering practices that involve ‘packing the mostest into the smallest’ spaces, in both offshore facilities and refineries.

Gexcon recently announced a new product FLACS-Risk, with a ‘clear 3D visualization’ of risk to communicate and improve stakeholder understanding of safety issues. The next FLACS User Group will be held in Bergen Norway on May 3-4.

* FLACS is an ‘industry standard’ tool for modeling gas explosions.

** Computational fluid dynamics.

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