Aim: The aim of this article is to determine the characteristics of a pool fire, including the temperatures and thermal radiation densities caused by it. Mappings of pool fires occurring in actual emergency events were conducted by performing large-scale polygon tests.

Project and methods: Experimental study of pool fire of technical ethanol was carried out on a specially built test stand in the training area of the Training Centre in Pionki of the Regional Headquarters of the State Fire Service in Warsaw. The pool fire test stand consisted of a test tray, with a test chamber with the diameter of 300 cm, founded on a reinforced concrete slab. Using a developed measurement system with data acquisition that included measurement sensors mounted at defined locations relative to the fire, temperatures and thermal radiation densities were measured at various distances/locations relative to the fire. Metrological data such as air temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind direction and speed were monitored and recorded using the weather station. The height of the fire flame was measured by comparing it to racks set up nearby with marked scales of specific lengths.

Results: A polygon stand that was built to study pool fires, equipped with a temperature and thermal radiation density measuring system with measuring sensors distributed in defined locations, is discussed. A study of a pool fire resulting from the combustion of dehydrated, fully contaminated ethanol was conducted. The study measured temperatures, thermal radiation densities, and flame heights. The average and maximum values of temperatures and thermal radiation densities during the steady-state combustion stage (i.e., phase II of the fire) were determined.

Conclusions: Based on the presented results of temperature and thermal radiation density measurements at various distances/locations relative to the pool fire site, there was a significant effect of wind direction and speed on these values. Higher temperature and heat radiation density were recorded at the sensors on the leeward side than on the windward side. As the wind speed decreased, there was an increase in the temperature values recorded on the thermocouples located above the centre of the bottom of the tray test chamber due to the flame, which, when not blown away, was allowed to rise vertically upward and fully sweep the temperature sensors.

Keywords: pool fire, field tests, technical ethanol, temperature, thermal radiation

Type of article: original scientific article