Modeling Fire, Part 3 – Combustion using HRR

In this video we show how to model a fire using a specified heat release rate (HRR).

One of the strengths of FDS, the Fire Dynamics Simulator, is that it can be a useful tool for both a fire protection engineer and a fire researcher. The challenge is that this can result in a bewildering array of options with respect to modeling the combustion process. In many cases, describing a fire using the heat release rate is both the simplest and most reliable approach.

To guide this discussion, we use an experiment and analysis performed at the VTT Research Center of Finland. I chose this example because the paper clearly describes the details of both the experiment and the supporting analysis and because one of the experiments burned a wood crib. The SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering provides equations that predict the heat release rate for such a fire. This gives us the opportunity to compare experimental values with the SFPE calculation.

Modeling Fire, Part 4 – Combustion with HRR, Ignition, and Burn Away

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This post was written by Daniel Swenson. For comments or questions, send email to

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