Computational design of a smoke detector with high sensitivity considering three-dimensional flow characteristics

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Early fire detection is essential for preventing catastrophic events, and fire detectors play a critical role in ensuring fire safety. Among the various types of fire detectors, photoelectric smoke detectors are widely used because of their ability to detect smoke at an early stage. The present study investigates the effects of changes in flow directions and inlet size on the smoke detection ability of a photoelectric smoke detector by conducting computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The results indicated that when the flow direction changes, the components in the optical chamber may hinder the smoke inflow and increase the detector activation time. Moreover, the smoke inlet size was found to affect the carbon monoxide concentration inside the chamber. The velocity magnitude distributions confirmed the correlation between the smoke velocity in the labyrinth structures entering the optical chamber and the detection ability of the smoke detector. These findings suggested that when optimizing the performance of a smoke detector, flow direction, inlet size, and amount of smoke introduced into the optical chamber should be considered. The current study suggested the modified design of the smoke detector to have superior detection ability in both directions compared to the base case in terms of activation time.

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Case Studies in Thermal Engineering