PolyU Fire Safety Lab
The proposed smart firefighting system adopts the complex data generating networks that enable real-time monitoring of the evolution of urban environments and hazards. Proper analysis of this data based on artificial intelligence can deliver information that continuously determines the state and evolution of systems and diagnoses emergent pathologies and support the decision making. Implementation of such a system for smart firefighting will help Hong Kong achieve the status of the world's leading smart city.
Super real-time fire forecasting
Data-driven science-based tactics
Information-rich decision making
Facade fires in tall buildings occurs almost every month globally. Grenfell Tower fire in London resulted in more than 70 fatalities, Address Building fire in Dubai cost more than US$ 700 million in losses while the while CCTV fire in Beijing kept the building closed for more than 8 years. These events have enormous consequences because the fire safety strategy for a tall building depends on preventing vertical flame spread. Current testing practices were developed to assess the flammability of materials and not complex encapsulation systems. Our research aims to understand the fire behaviours in facade system, build numerical tools to assess the fire risk of façade and prevent these tragedies in future.
Firefighting is a permanent topic in fire safety research, and the seeking of improved tactics and technologies for flame suppression and reducing the risk of firefighter and the damage to environment is of particular significance.
As such, we propose the technology of flame extinguishing by applying acoustic waves, which does not need water storage or additional hardware and can be pre-installed in buildings. The target flames to be studied cover most of the typical fire scenarios, particularly the moving dripping and firebrand flames. This research can guide the design of new firefighting technologies to mitigate the fire hazard.
Humankind has progressively increased the duration and extent of missions beyond the surface of the Earth. This journey has not been without risk. The fire risk in microgravity spacecraft environment is a concern in human’s space travel. Once there is a fire in the spacecraft, there is almost no possibility of safe evacuation of astronauts. Particularly, the fire risk will increase as the time spent in space is increased with the operation of proposed space missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
We conduct spacecraft fire research via high-cost spacecraft experiments and brief ground-based experiments. Along with additional numerical simulations, we can provide constructive fire safety strategies for designing a fire-safe spacecraft that ensure a safe space travel.
Wildland fire is a natural phenomenon on Earth for 400 M years. Recently, the increasing frequency and severity of wildfire pose an enormous threat to local populations, natural resources, and contribute greenhouse gas and toxic gas emissions to the earth-climate system.
Our research tries to investigate wildland fires using small-scale laboratory experiments, field test, remote sensing, and numerical modeling. This multidisciplinary research will enhance our understanding of wildland fires and help human being live with fire ecosystem and develop new approaches to mitigate fire's harmful effects.
Fire safety issue has become the most important fact that limits the development of electric vehicles, and the reliable fire-safety science and technology are emerging. Our research focuses on the development of fire protection technology of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack for electric vehicles. Through experiments and numerical simulations, we are designing a reliable fire suppression technology and a sophisticated battery fire protection strategy. Our research not only supports the future development of safe high-energy battery but also helps lay a good scientific foundation for the emerging development of fire-safe electric vehicles.
Because of the complexity of fire phenomena, it is difficult to use the controlled experiment to fully understand the underlying parameters and mechanisms of fire. Numerically fire modelling is able to solve the governing processes in the gas phase (i.e. CFD) and the solid phase and provides detailed information in fire that is not available via experiments. Moreover, limited experiments can be used to study the large-scale wildfire and the fire in the spacecraft. We use the scale and numerical modelling to predict the special and extreme behaviours of these fires, help the fire safety design of the wildland-urban interface, and provide critical evidences in fire investigations.
Smoldering combustion is the slow, low temperature, flameless burning of porous fuels and the most persistent type of combustion phenomena. The heat is released when oxygen directly attacks the surface of a solid fuel. It is especially common in porous fuels which form a char on heating, like cigarette, wood, plastic foam, coal and peat (organic soil). Smouldering combustion is among the leading causes of residential fires because the combustion is incomplete, and it is a source of safety concerns in industrial premises as well as in commercial and space flights. Smouldering is also the dominant combustion phenomena in wildfires of natural deposits of peat and coal which are the largest and longest burning fires on Earth. Recent research shows that peat fire produces 15% of the global carbon emission.