Abstract

While Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV) has proven to be effective in high-rise fire-fighting, its effect on smoke movement through a stairwell shafts in high-rise fires is still inconclusive. Towards better understanding of the effects of PPV for smoke transport in high-rise type structures, a 1/4 reduced-scale 7-floor building with dimensions of 1.0 m × 0.5 m × 4.2 m consisting of a vertical shaft and several rooms over a number of floors has been designed and tested. Both experiments and CFD simulations for this model were conducted. It was found that there are several potential PPV tactics that could be useful in high-rise smoke control in fires. In the cases examined, PPV was considered to be applied from outside the building through vents in external rooms of the building. When a PPV fan is applied above the floor containing the fire layer, the pressure induced by the PPV flow should be larger than the pressure difference caused by the stack effect induced by the hot fire product gases. Insufficient PPV flow rates is shown to lead to accumulation of smoke and further increase in the gas temperature within the shaft due to the blocking effect. A better option is applying PPV below the fire floor. With the same pressurization air flow rate, applying PPV from below the fire floor is more effective than applying it from the top of building. In this situation, PPV not only prevents accumulation of the smoke in the shaft, but also prevents smoke from entering the shaft. The results of this study can guide the development of firefighter ventilation tactics for smoke control in high-rise fires.

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