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Title: Complex Flow Workshop Report


This report documents findings from a workshop on the impacts of complex wind flows in and out of wind turbine environments, the research needs, and the challenges of meteorological and engineering modeling at regional, wind plant, and wind turbine scales.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Washington, DC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind Program (EE-4W) (Wind Program Corporate)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
wind; complex; flow; meteorological; modeling; farm; workshop; boulder; colorado

Citation Formats

none,. Complex Flow Workshop Report. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.2172/1219658.
none,. Complex Flow Workshop Report. United States. doi:10.2172/1219658.
none,. Tue . "Complex Flow Workshop Report". United States. doi:10.2172/1219658.
title = {Complex Flow Workshop Report},
author = {none,},
abstractNote = {This report documents findings from a workshop on the impacts of complex wind flows in and out of wind turbine environments, the research needs, and the challenges of meteorological and engineering modeling at regional, wind plant, and wind turbine scales.},
doi = {10.2172/1219658},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2012},
month = {Tue May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2012}

Technical Report:

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  • The subject of this workshop was to assess the current capabilities to model atmospheric flow in complex terrain. Emphasis was placed on Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, since it is one of the most complex areas being modeled and because of its operational importance. Also, Vandenberg is a good measure of current capabilities, since success in modeling this area would mean almost certain success with any area. Topics included: DoD flow modeling--A historical perspective; Incorporation of the critical streamline and mass-conservation principles in an efficient 3-D wind interpolation model; Physical assumptions in flow modelling and their effect on model performance;more » Description of the Meteorological and Range Safety Support (MARSS) system; Technology development for a computerized propellant hazard response protocol system; Modeling airflow over variable terrain; The REEDM wind flow model; Mean flow in Vandenberg terrain--Experimental results; Evaluation of a surface-layer windflow model for complex terrain using meteorological tower data from Vandenberg; Atmospheric models applied to Vandenberg terrain; Principal component analysis of the vector mesoscale wind field at Vandenberg AFB.« less
  • The Department of Energy's Wind Program organized a two-day workshop designed to examine complex wind flow into and out of the wind farm environment and the resulting impacts on the mechanical workings of individual wind turbines. An improved understanding of these processes will subsequently drive down the risk involved for wind energy developers, financiers, and owner/operators, thus driving down the cost of energy.
  • This article summarizes the contributions of participants attending a workshop convened under the direction of the AMS Steering Committee for the EPA Cooperative Agreement on Air Quality Modeling. The purpose of the workshop was to address the status of our understanding of dispersion in complex or mountainous terrain settings, with a specific focus on the ability of current technologies to predict air-pollution concentrations in different terrain settings.
  • The Complex Terrain Model Development project is being sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop atmospheric dispersion models to simulate air pollutant concentrations in complex terrain that result from emission from large sources. In early October 1985, an initial version of the Complex Terrain Dispersion Model (CTDM) was delivered to EPA. A major step in the evaluation of CTDM was a workshop conducted in February 1986. Each participant was provided a diskette or tape of the CTDM code and a draft User's Guide and was asked to exercise the model to assess its overall effectiveness and validity.
  • The subsurface environment, which encompasses the vadose and saturated zones, is a heterogeneous, geologically complex domain. Believed to contain a large percentage of Earth's biomass in the form of microorganisms, the subsurface is a dynamic zone where important biogeochemical cycles work to sustain life. Actively linked to the atmosphere and biosphere through the hydrologic and carbon cycles, the subsurface serves as a storage location for much of Earth's fresh water. Coupled hydrological, microbiological, and geochemical processes occurring within the subsurface environment cause the local and regional natural chemical fluxes that govern water quality. These processes play a vital role inmore » the formation of soil, economically important fossil fuels, mineral deposits, and other natural resources. Cleaning up Department of Energy (DOE) lands impacted by legacy wastes and using the subsurface for carbon sequestration or nuclear waste isolation require a firm understanding of these processes and the documented means to characterize the vertical and spatial distribution of subsurface properties directing water, nutrient, and contaminant flows. This information, along with credible, predictive models that integrate hydrological, microbiological, and geochemical knowledge over a range of scales, is needed to forecast the sustainability of subsurface water systems and to devise ways to manage and manipulate dynamic in situ processes for beneficial outcomes. Predictive models provide the context for knowledge integration. They are the primary tools for forecasting the evolving geochemistry or microbial ecology of groundwater under various scenarios and for assessing and optimizing the potential effectiveness of proposed approaches to carbon sequestration, waste isolation, or environmental remediation. An iterative approach of modeling and experimentation can reveal powerful insights into the behavior of subsurface systems. State-of-science understanding codified in models can provide a basis for testing hypotheses, guiding experiment design, integrating scientific knowledge on multiple environmental systems into a common framework, and translating this information to support informed decision making and policies. Subsurface behavior typically has been investigated using reductionist, or bottom-up approaches. In these approaches, mechanisms of small-scale processes are quantified, and key aspects of their behaviors are moved up to the prediction scale using scaling laws and models. Reductionism has and will continue to yield essential and comprehensive understanding of the molecular and microscopic underpinnings of component processes. However, system-scale predictions cannot always be made with bottom-up approaches because the behaviors of subsurface environments often simply do not result from the sum of smaller-scale process interactions. Systems exhibiting such behavior are termed complex and can range from the molecular to field scale in size. Complex systems contain many interactive parts and display collective behavior including emergence, feedback, and adaptive mechanisms. Microorganisms - key moderators of subsurface chemical processes - further challenge system understanding and prediction because they are adaptive life forms existing in an environment difficult to observe and measure. A new scientific approach termed complex systems science has evolved from the critical need to understand and model these systems, whose distinguishing features increasingly are found to be common in the natural world. In contrast to reductionist approaches, complexity methods often use a top-down approach to identify key interactions controlling diagnostic variables at the prediction scale; general macroscopic laws controlling system-scale behavior; and essential, simplified models of subsystem interactions that enable prediction. This approach is analogous to systems biology, which emphasizes the tight coupling between experimentation and modeling and is defined, in the context of Biological Systems Science research programs under DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), as ''the holistic, multidisciplinary study of complex interactions that specify the function of an entire biological system - whether single cells or a multicellular organism - rather than the reductionist study of individual components.'' In August 2009, BER held the Subsurface Complex System Science Relevant to Contaminant Fate and Transport workshop to assess the merits and limitations of complex systems science approaches to subsurface systems controlled by coupled hydrological, microbiological, and geochemical processes.« less