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Assessment of global model simulations of present and future climate

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Climate change has been one of the major issues of global economic and social concerns in the past decade. To quantitatively predict global climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations have organized a multi-national

Climate change has been one of the major issues of global economic and social concerns in the past decade. To quantitatively predict global climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations have organized a multi-national effort to use global atmosphere-ocean models to project anthropogenically induced climate changes in the 21st century. The computer simulations performed with those models and archived by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project - Phase 5 (CMIP5) form the most comprehensive quantitative basis for the prediction of global environmental changes on decadal-to-centennial time scales. While the CMIP5 archives have been widely used for policy making, the inherent biases in the models have not been systematically examined. The main objective of this study is to validate the CMIP5 simulations of the 20th century climate with observations to quantify the biases and uncertainties in state-of-the-art climate models. Specifically, this work focuses on three major features in the atmosphere: the jet streams over the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the low level jet (LLJ) stream over central North America which affects the weather in the United States, and the near-surface wind field over North America which is relevant to energy applications. The errors in the model simulations of those features are systematically quantified and the uncertainties in future predictions are assessed for stakeholders to use in climate applications. Additional atmospheric model simulations are performed to determine the sources of the errors in climate models. The results reject a popular idea that the errors in the sea surface temperature due to an inaccurate ocean circulation contributes to the errors in major atmospheric jet streams.

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2014

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Parametric analysis of a hypersonic inlet using computational fluid dynamics

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For CFD validation, hypersonic flow fields are simulated and compared with experimental data specifically designed to recreate conditions found by hypersonic vehicles. Simulated flow fields on a cone-ogive with flare at Mach 7.2 are compared with experimental data from NASA

For CFD validation, hypersonic flow fields are simulated and compared with experimental data specifically designed to recreate conditions found by hypersonic vehicles. Simulated flow fields on a cone-ogive with flare at Mach 7.2 are compared with experimental data from NASA Ames Research Center 3.5" hypersonic wind tunnel. A parametric study of turbulence models is presented and concludes that the k-kl-omega transition and SST transition turbulence model have the best correlation. Downstream of the flare's shockwave, good correlation is found for all boundary layer profiles, with some slight discrepancies of the static temperature near the surface. Simulated flow fields on a blunt cone with flare above Mach 10 are compared with experimental data from CUBRC LENS hypervelocity shock tunnel. Lack of vibrational non-equilibrium calculations causes discrepancies in heat flux near the leading edge. Temperature profiles, where non-equilibrium effects are dominant, are compared with the dissociation of molecules to show the effects of dissociation on static temperature. Following the validation studies is a parametric analysis of a hypersonic inlet from Mach 6 to 20. Compressor performance is investigated for numerous cowl leading edge locations up to speeds of Mach 10. The variable cowl study showed positive trends in compressor performance parameters for a range of Mach numbers that arise from maximizing the intake of compressed flow. An interesting phenomenon due to the change in shock wave formation for different Mach numbers developed inside the cowl that had a negative influence on the total pressure recovery. Investigation of the hypersonic inlet at different altitudes is performed to study the effects of Reynolds number, and consequently, turbulent viscous effects on compressor performance. Turbulent boundary layer separation was noted as the cause for a change in compressor performance parameters due to a change in Reynolds number. This effect would not be noticeable if laminar flow was assumed. Mach numbers up to 20 are investigated to study the effects of vibrational and chemical non-equilibrium on compressor performance. A direct impact on the trends on the kinetic energy efficiency and compressor efficiency was found due to dissociation.

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2013

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The shift of precipitation maxima on the annual maximum series using regional climate model precipitation data

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Ten regional climate models (RCMs) and atmosphere-ocean generalized model parings from the North America Regional Climate Change Assessment Program were used to estimate the shift of extreme precipitation due to climate change using present-day and future-day climate scenarios. RCMs emulate

Ten regional climate models (RCMs) and atmosphere-ocean generalized model parings from the North America Regional Climate Change Assessment Program were used to estimate the shift of extreme precipitation due to climate change using present-day and future-day climate scenarios. RCMs emulate winter storms and one-day duration events at the sub-regional level. Annual maximum series were derived for each model pairing, each modeling period; and for annual and winter seasons. The reliability ensemble average (REA) method was used to qualify each RCM annual maximum series to reproduce historical records and approximate average predictions, because there are no future records. These series determined (a) shifts in extreme precipitation frequencies and magnitudes, and (b) shifts in parameters during modeling periods. The REA method demonstrated that the winter season had lower REA factors than the annual season. For the winter season the RCM pairing of the Hadley regional Model 3 and the Geophysical Fluid-Dynamics Laboratory atmospheric-land generalized model had the lowest REA factors. However, in replicating present-day climate, the pairing of the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics' Regional Climate Model Version 3 with the Geophysical Fluid-Dynamics Laboratory atmospheric-land generalized model was superior. Shifts of extreme precipitation in the 24-hour event were measured using precipitation magnitude for each frequency in the annual maximum series, and the difference frequency curve in the generalized extreme-value-function parameters. The average trend of all RCM pairings implied no significant shift in the winter annual maximum series, however the REA-selected models showed an increase in annual-season precipitation extremes: 0.37 inches for the 100-year return period and for the winter season suggested approximately 0.57 inches for the same return period. Shifts of extreme precipitation were estimated using predictions 70 years into the future based on RCMs. Although these models do not provide climate information for the intervening 70 year period, the models provide an assertion on the behavior of future climate. The shift in extreme precipitation may be significant in the frequency distribution function, and will vary depending on each model-pairing condition. The proposed methodology addresses the many uncertainties associated with the current methodologies dealing with extreme precipitation.

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2013

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Compressible flow through a porous medium: choking at pore scale and its implications

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Production from a high pressure gas well at a high production-rate encounters the risk of operating near the choking condition for a compressible flow in porous media. The unbounded gas pressure gradient near the point of choking, which is located

Production from a high pressure gas well at a high production-rate encounters the risk of operating near the choking condition for a compressible flow in porous media. The unbounded gas pressure gradient near the point of choking, which is located near the wellbore, generates an effective tensile stress on the porous rock frame. This tensile stress almost always exceeds the tensile strength of the rock and it causes a tensile failure of the rock, leading to wellbore instability. In a porous rock, not all pores are choked at the same flow rate, and when just one pore is choked, the flow through the entire porous medium should be considered choked as the gas pressure gradient at the point of choking becomes singular. This thesis investigates the choking condition for compressible gas flow in a single microscopic pore. Quasi-one-dimensional analysis and axisymmetric numerical simulations of compressible gas flow in a pore scale varicose tube with a number of bumps are carried out, and the local Mach number and pressure along the tube are computed for the flow near choking condition. The effects of tube length, inlet-to-outlet pressure ratio, the number of bumps and the amplitude of the bumps on the choking condition are obtained. These critical values provide guidance for avoiding the choking condition in practice.

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2013

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Theoretical prediction of Sauter mean diameter for pressure-swirl atomizers through integral conservation methods

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A new theoretical model was developed utilizing energy conservation methods in order to determine the fully-atomized cross-sectional Sauter mean diameters of pressure-swirl atomizers. A detailed boundary-layer assessment led to the development of a new viscous dissipation model for droplets in

A new theoretical model was developed utilizing energy conservation methods in order to determine the fully-atomized cross-sectional Sauter mean diameters of pressure-swirl atomizers. A detailed boundary-layer assessment led to the development of a new viscous dissipation model for droplets in the spray. Integral momentum methods were also used to determine the complete velocity history of the droplets and entrained gas in the spray. The model was extensively validated through comparison with experiment and it was found that the model could predict the correct droplet size with high accuracy for a wide range of operating conditions. Based on detailed analysis, it was found that the energy model has a tendency to overestimate the droplet diameters for very low injection velocities, Weber numbers, and cone angles. A full parametric study was also performed in order to unveil some underlying behavior of pressure-swirl atomizers. It was found that at high injection velocities, the kinetic energy in the spray is significantly larger than the surface tension energy, therefore, efforts into improving atomization quality by changing the liquid's surface tension may not be the most productive. From the parametric studies it was also shown how the Sauter mean diameter and entrained velocities vary with increasing ambient gas density. Overall, the present energy model has the potential to provide quick and reasonably accurate solutions for a wide range of operating conditions enabling the user to determine how different injection parameters affect the spray quality.

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2013

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Climate modeling & downscaling for semi-arid regions

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This study performs numerical modeling for the climate of semi-arid regions by running a high-resolution atmospheric model constrained by large-scale climatic boundary conditions, a practice commonly called climate downscaling. These investigations focus especially on precipitation and temperature, quantities that are

This study performs numerical modeling for the climate of semi-arid regions by running a high-resolution atmospheric model constrained by large-scale climatic boundary conditions, a practice commonly called climate downscaling. These investigations focus especially on precipitation and temperature, quantities that are critical to life in semi-arid regions. Using the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model, a non-hydrostatic geophysical fluid dynamical model with a full suite of physical parameterization, a series of numerical sensitivity experiments are conducted to test how the intensity and spatial/temporal distribution of precipitation change with grid resolution, time step size, the resolution of lower boundary topography and surface characteristics. Two regions, Arizona in U.S. and Aral Sea region in Central Asia, are chosen as the test-beds for the numerical experiments: The former for its complex terrain and the latter for the dramatic man-made changes in its lower boundary conditions (the shrinkage of Aral Sea). Sensitivity tests show that the parameterization schemes for rainfall are not resolution-independent, thus a refinement of resolution is no guarantee of a better result. But, simulations (at all resolutions) do capture the inter-annual variability of rainfall over Arizona. Nevertheless, temperature is simulated more accurately with refinement in resolution. Results show that both seasonal mean rainfall and frequency of extreme rainfall events increase with resolution. For Aral Sea, sensitivity tests indicate that while the shrinkage of Aral Sea has a dramatic impact on the precipitation over the confine of (former) Aral Sea itself, its effect on the precipitation over greater Central Asia is not necessarily greater than the inter-annual variability induced by the lateral boundary conditions in the model and large scale warming in the region. The numerical simulations in the study are cross validated with observations to address the realism of the regional climate model. The findings of this sensitivity study are useful for water resource management in semi-arid regions. Such high spatio-temporal resolution gridded-data can be used as an input for hydrological models for regions such as Arizona with complex terrain and sparse observations. Results from simulations of Aral Sea region are expected to contribute to ecosystems management for Central Asia.

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2012

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Numerical study of the effect of urbanization on the climate

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This study uses the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to simulate and predict the changes in local climate attributed to the urbanization for five desert cities. The simulations are performed in the fashion of climate downscaling, constrained by the

This study uses the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to simulate and predict the changes in local climate attributed to the urbanization for five desert cities. The simulations are performed in the fashion of climate downscaling, constrained by the surface boundary conditions generated from high resolution land-use maps. For each city, the land-use maps of 1985 and 2010 from Landsat satellite observation, and a projected land-use map for 2030, are used to represent the past, present, and future. An additional set of simulations for Las Vegas, the largest of the five cities, uses the NLCD 1992 and 2006 land-use maps and an idealized historical land-use map with no urban coverage for 1900.

The study finds that urbanization in Las Vegas produces a classic urban heat island (UHI) at night but a minor cooling during the day. A further analysis of the surface energy balance shows that the decrease in surface Albedo and increase effective emissivity play an important role in shaping the local climate change over urban areas. The emerging urban structures slow down the diurnal wind circulation over the city due to an increased effective surface roughness. This leads to a secondary modification of temperature due to the interaction between the mechanical and thermodynamic effects of urbanization.

The simulations for the five desert cities for 1985 and 2010 further confirm a common pattern of the climatic effect of urbanization with significant nighttime warming and moderate daytime cooling. This effect is confined to the urban area and is not sensitive to the size of the city or the detail of land cover in the surrounding areas. The pattern of nighttime warming and daytime cooling remains robust in the simulations for the future climate of the five cities using the projected 2030 land-use maps. Inter-city differences among the five urban areas are discussed.

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2015

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Investigations of environmental effects on freeway acoustics

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The role of environmental factors that influence atmospheric propagation of sound originating from freeway noise sources is studied with a combination of field experiments and numerical simulations. Acoustic propagation models are developed and adapted for refractive index depending upon meteorological

The role of environmental factors that influence atmospheric propagation of sound originating from freeway noise sources is studied with a combination of field experiments and numerical simulations. Acoustic propagation models are developed and adapted for refractive index depending upon meteorological conditions. A high-resolution multi-nested environmental forecasting model forced by coarse global analysis is applied to predict real meteorological profiles at fine scales. These profiles are then used as input for the acoustic models. Numerical methods for producing higher resolution acoustic refractive index fields are proposed. These include spatial and temporal nested meteorological simulations with vertical grid refinement. It is shown that vertical nesting can improve the prediction of finer structures in near-ground temperature and velocity profiles, such as morning temperature inversions and low level jet-like features. Accurate representation of these features is shown to be important for modeling sound refraction phenomena and for enabling accurate noise assessment. Comparisons are made using the acoustic model for predictions with profiles derived from meteorological simulations and from field experiment observations in Phoenix, Arizona. The challenges faced in simulating accurate meteorological profiles at high resolution for sound propagation applications are highlighted and areas for possible improvement are discussed.

A detailed evaluation of the environmental forecast is conducted by investigating the Surface Energy Balance (SEB) obtained from observations made with an eddy-covariance flux tower compared with SEB from simulations using several physical parameterizations of urban effects and planetary boundary layer schemes. Diurnal variation in SEB constituent fluxes are examined in relation to surface layer stability and modeled diagnostic variables. Improvement is found when adapting parameterizations for Phoenix with reduced errors in the SEB components. Finer model resolution (to 333 m) is seen to have insignificant ($<1\sigma$) influence on mean absolute percent difference of 30-minute diurnal mean SEB terms. A new method of representing inhomogeneous urban development density derived from observations of impervious surfaces with sub-grid scale resolution is then proposed for mesoscale applications. This method was implemented and evaluated within the environmental modeling framework. Finally, a new semi-implicit scheme based on Leapfrog and a fourth-order implicit time-filter is developed.

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2014

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Optimization of complex thermal-fluid processes

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First, in a large-scale structure, a 3-D CFD model was built to simulate flow and temperature distributions. The flow patterns and temperature distributions are characterized and validated through spot measurements. The detailed understanding of them then allows for optimization of

First, in a large-scale structure, a 3-D CFD model was built to simulate flow and temperature distributions. The flow patterns and temperature distributions are characterized and validated through spot measurements. The detailed understanding of them then allows for optimization of the HVAC configuration because identification of the problematic flow patterns and temperature mis-distributions leads to some corrective measures. Second, an appropriate form of the viscous dissipation term in the integral form of the conservation equation was considered, and the effects of momentum terms on the computed drop size in pressure-atomized sprays were examined. The Sauter mean diameter (SMD) calculated in this manner agrees well with experimental data of the drop velocities and sizes. Using the suggested equation with the revised treatment of liquid momentum setup, injection parameters can be directly input to the system of equations. Thus, this approach is capable of incorporating the effects of injection parameters for further considerations of the drop and velocity distributions under a wide range of spray geometry and injection conditions. Lastly, groundwater level estimation was investigated using compressed sensing (CS). To satisfy a general property of CS, a random measurement matrix was used, the groundwater network was constructed, and finally the l-1 optimization was run. Through several validation tests, correct estimation of groundwater level by CS was shown. Using this setup, decreasing trends in groundwater level in the southwestern US was shown. The suggested method is effective in that the total measurements of registered wells can be reduced down by approximately 42 %, sparse data can be visualized and a possible approach for groundwater management during extreme weather changes, e.g. in California, was demonstrated.

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2015

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Wind farm characterization and control using coherent Doppler lidar

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Wind measurements are fundamental inputs for the evaluation of potential energy yield and performance of wind farms. Three-dimensional scanning coherent Doppler lidar (CDL) may provide a new basis for wind farm site selection, design, and control. In this research, CDL

Wind measurements are fundamental inputs for the evaluation of potential energy yield and performance of wind farms. Three-dimensional scanning coherent Doppler lidar (CDL) may provide a new basis for wind farm site selection, design, and control. In this research, CDL measurements obtained from multiple wind energy developments are analyzed and a novel wind farm control approach has been modeled. The possibility of using lidar measurements to more fully characterize the wind field is discussed, specifically, terrain effects, spatial variation of winds, power density, and the effect of shear at different layers within the rotor swept area. Various vector retrieval methods have been applied to the lidar data, and results are presented on an elevated terrain-following surface at hub height. The vector retrieval estimates are compared with tower measurements, after interpolation to the appropriate level. CDL data is used to estimate the spatial power density at hub height. Since CDL can measure winds at different vertical levels, an approach for estimating wind power density over the wind turbine rotor-swept area is explored. Sample optimized layouts of wind farm using lidar data and global optimization algorithms, accounting for wake interaction effects, have been explored. An approach to evaluate spatial wind speed and direction estimates from a standard nested Coupled Ocean and Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) model and CDL is presented. The magnitude of spatial difference between observations and simulation for wind energy assessment is researched. Diurnal effects and ramp events as estimated by CDL and COAMPS were inter-compared. Novel wind farm control based on incoming winds and direction input from CDL's is developed. Both yaw and pitch control using scanning CDL for efficient wind farm control is analyzed. The wind farm control optimizes power production and reduces loads on wind turbines for various lidar wind speed and direction inputs, accounting for wind farm wake losses and wind speed evolution. Several wind farm control configurations were developed, for enhanced integrability into the electrical grid. Finally, the value proposition of CDL for a wind farm development, based on uncertainty reduction and return of investment is analyzed.

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2013