Symposium on CFD Fire Simulations 15 May 2024

On May 15, 2024, the symposium on CFD fire simulations took place. For the first time, this symposium was organized by five parties together. It was a great initiative by the Dutch Institute for Public Safety (NIPV), VVBA (Association of Fire Safety Experts), SFPE Benelux Chapter, and IFE Netherlands. More than a hundred people attended the event in Arnhem.

It was also the occasion when NIPV published the second version of the publication “Guidance on Assessing CFD Simulations.”

David Den Boer (Peutz) took us through the background of CFD. How is it calculated? David also discussed what is and isn’t possible with CFD fire simulations and the challenges users may face with CFD fire simulations.

In his presentation “Modeling Choices on the Results of CFD Simulations in Fire Safety,” Richard van de Nes showed impressive images of the influence of user choices on the final results. He did this based on the guide “Guidance on Assessing CFD Fire Simulations.”

Pim van Rede (NIPV) presented the results of his master’s thesis at Ghent University. The central question was whether fires that are strongly oxygen-controlled can be reliably simulated. With some adjustments in the settings of FDS, oxygen-controlled fires can be simulated reasonably accurately, but there are no settings that work well for all scenarios and requested results.

Paul Hoondert (DGMR) showed us the challenges when trying to predict a facade fire test with CFD fire simulations. Modeling medium-scale facade tests in the current state of CFD fire simulation technology proves it is not yet possible to accurately calculate facade fires. Understanding this knowledge is also crucial.

The last part off the event was a panel discussion were Jean-Michel Bellos (Twente Fire Department) joined the speakers. With Ruud van Liempd (NIPV) and moderator John van Lierop (SFPE Benelux)  there was a lively discussion about the limitations and possibilities of CFD. The assurance of quality and the necessity for knowledge, skills, and experience among CFD users were topics on which both speakers and participants in the room sometimes had strong opinions. There appears to be a need for transparency and qualifications of CFD engineers to contribute to broader application.

Handouts are available upon request.