Gas and vapor cloud explosion has historically been the backbone of our research at GexCon, with substantial test activities through the 1980s and 1990s. It has been recognized that FLACS simulations can provide estimates of blast loads as accurate as those determined experimentally, but for only a fraction of the cost. While mitigation studies are conducted on an intermittent basis, our test facilities are now generally used for equipment testing and evaluation.
GexCon can assist you through CFD modeling or testing work with any type of R&D activity regarding explosions and their mitigation. The labs at our main office in Norway have flexible test facilities which may be utilized to investigate a wide range of explosion challenges. We also have extensive experience in mitigation methods, both through testing and numerical modeling, and can offer unique solutions to your explosion safety challenges.
GexCon has significant experience analyzing mitigation systems, which include various types of water based systems (deluge, fog, suppression and micromist) and their effect on explosions. We have also evaluated the effect of inert gases, chemical inhibitors, suppression systems, and vent panels on the consequences of explosions. Water deluge, which is often activated by gas detection systems on oil and gas installations, can be effective at reducing worst-case explosion pressures. However, the performance of water deluge will depend greatly on parameters like scale, confinement, congestion and how water is applied.
The videos above are from GexCon test site, showing a reference gas explosion (methane, 1.5 barg) to the left and one test using water deluge (methane 0.5 barg) to the right. At larger scales the benefits of using deluge will generally increase.
Below you will see a simulation video of one of the full-scale tests performed by Advantica (BFETS test 7), in which maximum explosion pressures were reduced by up to one order of magnitude from 4.4 barg to 0.48 barg.
Simulation of end ignited case (BFETS test 7)
Simulated pressure curves for explosion without deluge (BFETS 7) and with two deluge systems MV57 and LDN.