Experimental Investigation on Lateral Temperature Profile of Window-Ejected Facade Fire Plume with Ambient Wind

  • Fei Ren
  • Longhua HuEmail author
  • Xiepeng Sun


The present study investigated experimentally the lateral temperature profiles of window-ejected facade fire plume from compartment with external ambient wind normal to the facade. The previous reports only focused on no wind conditions that the entrainment and diffusion of ambient air with the fire plume, which determines this lateral temperature profiles, is controlled solely by the buoyancy of the plume itself. This could be essentially affected by the external ambient wind, however, has not been revealed or quantified in the past. Hence, in this work, reduced-scale experiments were carried out employing a cubic compartment with an opening (window) and a facade wall, subjected to ambient wind provide by a wind tunnel. The lateral temperature profiles of the fire plume issued through the compartment opening was measured by thermocouples arrays installed along the facade, for various opening dimensions and ambient wind speeds. Results showed that with increasing of wind speed, the temperature at a fixed position decreased gradually, especially at those positions near the facade; while the lateral decay of temperature at a given height was faster as the wind speed was higher. This was interpreted by the physics that the ambient wind normal to the facade enhanced the entrainment and diffusion of ambient fresh air into the plume. Then, a formula (based upon classic Gaussian function) was put forward to characterize the lateral temperature profiles of the facade fire plume, by using the modified effective characteristic plume thickness (a horizontal diffusion length scale) to include wind effect. The obtained data and proposed formula in the present study provide a basic understanding for the window-ejected facade fire plume characteristics with ambient wind.


Window-ejected facade fire plume Lateral temperature profile Gaussian profile Urban fire Ambient wind 

List of Symbols


Opening area (m2)

\( A\sqrt H \)

Ventilation factor of compartment opening (m2.5)


Gravitational acceleration (m/s2)


Opening height (m)


The ratio of the characteristic size of the facade fire plume in the direction normal to the facade to that parallel to the facade (dimensionless)


The ratio of the characteristic size of the facade fire plume in the direction normal to the facade to that parallel to the facade with wind (dimensionless)


Characteristic length scale of assumed rectangular fire source (m)


Characteristic length scale of assumed rectangular fire source (m)


Characteristic size of facade fire plume in the direction normal to facade (m)


Characteristic size of facade fire plume in the direction parallel to facade (m)


Effective characteristic thickness of the facade fire plume (m)


Effective characteristic thickness of the facade fire plume with wind (m)

\( \dot{Q}^{*}_{ex} \)

Non-dimensional excess heat release rate (dimensionless)


Ambient wind speed (m/s)


Opening width (m)


Lateral distance away from the facade wall (m)


Lateral horizontal coordinate of the maximum temperature (m)


Vertical height (m)


Neutral plane height of the window (m)


Virtual origin height (m)

Greek Symbols


Entrainment coefficient (dimensionless)


Gaussian profile constant (dimensionless)


Temperature rise above the ambient (°C)


Maximum temperature rises above the ambient for a given height (°C)


A coefficient to describe wind effect on air entrainment (dimensionless)



This work was supported by Key project of National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 51636008, NSFC-STINT joint Project (51811530015), Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) under Grant No. QYZDB-SSW-JSC029 and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities under Grant Nos. WK2320000035 and WK2320000038.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Fire ScienceUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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