Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Development and Evaluation of a Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes Solver in WindNinja for Operational Wildland Fire Applications

Version 1 : Received: 26 September 2019 / Approved: 28 September 2019 / Online: 28 September 2019 (00:32:30 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Wagenbrenner, N.S.; Forthofer, J.M.; Page, W.G.; Butler, B.W. Development and Evaluation of a Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes Solver in WindNinja for Operational Wildland Fire Applications. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 672. Wagenbrenner, N.S.; Forthofer, J.M.; Page, W.G.; Butler, B.W. Development and Evaluation of a Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes Solver in WindNinja for Operational Wildland Fire Applications. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 672.

Journal reference: Atmosphere 2019, 10, 672
DOI: 10.3390/atmos10110672

Abstract

An open source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver has been incorporated into the WindNinja modeling framework widely used by wildland fire managers as well as researchers and practitioners in other fields, such as wind energy, wind erosion, and search and rescue. Here we describe incorporation of the CFD solver and evaluate its performance compared to the conservation of mass (COM) solver in WindNinja and previously published large-eddy simulations (LES) for three field campaigns conducted over isolated terrain obstacles of varying terrain complexity: Askervein Hill, Bolund Hill, and Big Southern Butte. We also compare the effects of two important model settings in the CFD solver and provide guidance on model sensitivity to these settings. Additionally, we investigate the computational mesh and difficulties regarding terrain representation. Two important findings from this work are: (1) the choice of discretization scheme for advection has a significantly larger effect on the simulated winds than the choice of turbulence model and (2) CFD solver predictions are significantly better than the COM solver predictions at windward and lee side observation locations, but no difference was found in predicted speed-up at ridgetop locations between the two solvers.

Subject Areas

microscale wind modeling; rans modeling; complex terrain; wildland fire

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