Measuring heat release rate during fire testing requires precise calibration of the measuring equipment; SP Fire Research has thus developed a mobile fire simulator which provides highly accurate heat release rate measurements. The fire simulator consists of a cart that is easy to move and connected to our LPG system, facilitating, among other things, easy and quick calibration of our measuring equipment.
The need for calibration
Some of our instruments are of central importance to our operations, including that which is used for measuring heat release rate. A particular difficulty is that the heat release rates we measure may vary between a few kilowatts and several megawatts, depending on the test carried out, and in order to be sure that our measurements are correct, the equipment needs to be calibrated often. These tests typically involve combustible liquids which are placed on scales – a long-winded and somewhat imprecise method, as combustion is not 100% effective (
a certain part of the fuel is emitted as soot). One can also use manually controlled flowmeters to control the amount of combustible gas/liquid during calibration, although this presents similar problems regarding precision. The new system provides a much more accurate and expeditious instrument for the calibration of measuring equipment, but is also an efficient tool for clients who require the progress of the simulated fire to be particularly well-defined.
An additional advantage
The new system consists of electronic flowmeters which offer very high accuracy and, through a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller), it is possible to ensure that the flow follows a prescribed curve. This opens up opportunities for using the equipment for the simulation of complex heat release rate curves with high precision. One can easily select any heat release rate up to 3MW, with a maximum error margin for the entire effect area of under 2%. This provides unique opportunities for both clients and researchers to carry out well-defined fire tests.
This article was provided by Brandposten.
Main Image: The new and advanced mobile fire simulator, which is able to generate fire curves up to 3MW.