Measuring Energy Transfer from Wildland Forest Fires

  • Author / Creator
    Sullivan, Erik A
  • Current practices for measuring high heat flux, in scenarios such as wildland forest fires, are to utilize expensive, thermopile-based sensors, coupled with mathematical models based on a semi-infinite length-scale. While these sensors are acceptable for experimental testing in laboratories, high errors or needs for water-cooling limits their applications in field experiments. Therefore, a one-dimensional, finite-length scale, transient heat conduction model was developed and combined with an inexpensive, thermocouple-based rectangular sensor to create a rapidly deployable, non-cooled sensor for testing in field environments. Constant heat flux, tree burning tests, and a surface fire field experiment were conducted to validate the proposed analytical model and test the sensor in simulated and real fire settings. The proposed heat flux measurement method provided results similar to those obtained from a commercial heat flux gauge, to within one standard deviation. This suggests that the use of a finite-length scale model, coupled with an inexpensive thermocouple-based sensor, is effective in estimating the intense heat loads from wildland fires.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • McDonald, Andre
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Kumar, Aloke (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Mendez, Patricio (Chemical & Materials Engineering)
    • McDonald, Andre (Mechanical Engineering)