On Radiant Network Models of Thermocouple Error in Pre and Post Flashover Compartment Fires

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Abstract

Thermocouples are often used to obtain gas temperature measurements in compartment fires. Such measurements are subject to a thermal lag during fire growth, but the main problem is a steady-state error induced by radiant heat transfer at the thermocouple surface. This error is sensitive to thermal parameters of the flame, compartment structure, thermocouple surface and combustion products; and is also influenced by the size and position of both the flame and thermocouple. The literature contains models of varying sophistication to enable an assessment of steady-state error. A model is now proposed that makes use of the concept of radiosity. Developed from radiant network theory, the model can be applied to both pre-flashover and post-flashover conditions. Experiments have been performed using different sizes of thermocouple and the models compared. The simpler models pre-date the more sophisticated and predict much larger errors than the latest published and current versions.

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