Description: A partial non-dimensionalization of the Navier-Stokes equations is used to obtain order of magnitude estimates of the rate-controlling transport processes in the reacting portion of a fire plume as a function of length scale. Over continuum length scales, buoyant times scales vary as the square root of the length scale; advection time scales vary as the length scale, and diffusion time scales vary as the square of the length scale. Due to the variation with length scale, each process is dominant over a given range. The relationship of buoyancy and baroclinc vorticity generation is highlighted. For numerical simulation, first principles solution for fire problems is not possible with foreseeable computational hardware in the near future. Filtered transport equations with subgrid modeling will be required as two to three decades of length scale are captured by solution of discretized conservation equations. By whatever filtering process one employs, one must have humble expectations for the accuracy obtainable by numerical simulation for practical fire problems that contain important multi-physics/multi-length-scale coupling with up to 10 orders of magnitude in length scale.
Date: February 2, 2000
Creator: TIESZEN,SHELDON R.
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