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research-article

Evaluating the Accuracy of RANS Wind Flow Modeling Over Forested Terrain. Part 1: Canopy Model Validation

[+] Author and Article Information
Viridiana G Morales Garza

Research Assistant, M.Eng., Département de génie mécanique, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Québec, H3C 1K3, Canada
viridiana-guadalupe.morales-garza.1@ens.etsmtl.ca

Jonathon Sumner

Faculty member, Ph.D., Physics Department, Dawson College, Montréal, Québec, H3Z 1A4, Canada
jsumner@dawsoncollege.qc.ca

Jörn Nathan

Research Assistant, Ph.D., Département de génie mécanique, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Québec, H3C 1K3, Canada
jorn.nathan.1@ens.etsmtl.ca

Christian Masson

Professor, Département de génie mécanique, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Québec, H3C 1K3, Canada
Christian.Masson@etsmtl.ca

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042242 History: Received February 21, 2018; Revised December 01, 2018

Abstract

This study uses the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations to validate a canopy model by computing a fully developed wind flow within and above a horizontally homogeneous dense forest as in the work of Dalpe and Masson. The model is paired with a modified k-e turbulence closure. A set of boundary conditions that rely on the law of the wall for a sustainable atmospheric boundary layer is used. All simulations are conducted in the open source software OpenFOAM v.2:4:0. Two practical aspects are considered in the validation process. First, an accurate leaf area index (LAI) integration to exactly fit the wind shear is evaluated. Since the physical foliage parameters may not be accessible for all type of forests, a generic leaf area density a distribution is tested. The results of this test show that a generic distribution is sufficient for preliminary analyses to improve accuracy of wind flow predictions over forested terrain. Second, the approach of Dalpe and Masson is limited to cyclic boundary conditions which are not practical for real sites. For cases without cyclic boundary conditions, imposing a proper slope on the inlet velocity profile is of high importance. This condition can be achieved through adjustment of the roughness length at the inlet.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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