Large Scale Detonation Testing – RPSEA Project Award
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As the size of Ultra Deep Water (UDW) facilities increases in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), designs must consider the potential adverse effects associated with vapor cloud explosions in large congested areas and understand the potential for more devastating deflagration-to- detonation transitions (DDTs) on these facilities. However, there is a lack of data at the large scale to validate the necessary design tools used to predict the risk of DDT. GexCon was awarded Subcontract 12121-6403-01 under the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA), whereby the objective of this project is to improve inherently safer offshore facility designs. One of the main goals of this research project is to provide large scale DDT explosion data and validate the tools necessary to predict vapor cloud explosions in early design phase. The work will also be used to develop guidance documents and recommended practices to facility owners and designers in order to minimize the potential consequence of explosion incidents. This paper will present the current updates for the large scale testing being conducted in a newly developed test rig of 51,840 ft3 (1,459 m3 ) gross volume. These tests will involve evaluation of deflagrations and DDTs involving stoichiometric, lean and rich mixtures ethylene, propane and methane. Further phases of the testing will evaluate the effectiveness of other mitigation measures (e.g., water deluge, solid inhibitor) on the explosion consequences. These experiments will be used to validate and further develop industry-accepted CFD tools and more simplified methods in their prediction of DDTs at the large scale including events involving mitigation.
Davis, Scott; Engel, Derek; Wingerden, Kees van (2015). Large Scale Detonation Testing – RPSEA Project Award. Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center; Texas &M University. Libraries. Available electronically from