Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fire Experiments, Fire, & More Fire

Recently, we performed a small experiment in one of the Universities fire testing laboratories. We used a pan of liquid methanol, started a fire, and measured the heat release rate (a measure of the rate at which energy (in the form of heat) is released) with a device called a oxygen consumption calorimeter. We ran a few tests to check out how repeatable the experiment was. Then, we simulated our experiment after wards with some computer software and compared the computer simulations to the data we got from the experiment. Knowledge regarding the heat release rate of a fire is one of the most important concepts and factors in fire safety design and evaluation.

Setting up the experiment:

The hat is pretty useless here but makes a good photo! Netsanet, Dennis, & I.

Marta, Netsanet, & I set up the thermocouples and data aquisition equipment for the experiment:

A simulation of the velocity of the gases entering and leaving the test cell:

A representation of gas temperature:

Unfortunately, this test was not nearly as scintillating as some of the stuff I used to do and see at UL(though more educative in different ways):

In conclusion, Hooray for Fire! (I mean, fire safety!). Guess that's enough nerd speak for one blog. Cheers.

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