A numerical study of smoke and heat transport from fires occurring in a large interchange bus station is presented. The ultimate goal of this type of study is to increase the fire safety level of the station by improving the design of fire protection systems and evacuation procedures. The phenomena involved in the fire are highly transient and three dimensional, and their modeling requires large computational resources. In the present work, we introduce several simplifications in the numerical model, mainly related to turbulence modeling and the boundary conditions used to reproduce the effects of the combustion process, which allow us capturing the essential features of the fire while keeping the memory requirements and the CPU time at a reasonable level. In particular, we are interested in describing in a realistic way the spread of smoke and heat in a typical fire scenario in the lobby of an interchange bus station. The numerical analysis is carried out with the aid of a general-purpose computer code, using two different approaches for turbulence modeling (RANS and LES) and several discretization schemes. The fire effects are reproduced in a simple way, describing the fire focus as a source of mass, heat and chemical species. Boundary conditions are imposed at the fire focus, by setting the inlet velocity, temperature and gas composition (combustion products) at a section of appropriate area. The values of these quantities are chosen to be consistent with the prescribed heat release rate, type of fuel (heptane) and fire spread area. A comparison of the results obtained with the different methods, along with the CPU time consumption and dependence on the computational mesh, is presented. The capabilities and limitations of unsteady RANS and LES methods to reproduce the main features of the smoke and heat propagation patterns are analyzed.

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