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

Author(s): Natalie S. Wagenbrenner, Jason M. Forthofer, Wesley G. Page, Bret W. Butler
Year Published: 2019
Description:

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.

Citation: Wagenbrenner NS, ForthoferJM, Page WG, and Butler BW. 2019. Development and Evaluation of a Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes Solver in WindNinja for Operational Wildland Fire Applications. Preprints 2019, 2019090315 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201909.0315.v1). 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. Preprints 2019, 2019090315 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201909.0315.v1).
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Simulation Modeling, Weather
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 20085
Record updated: Oct 15, 2019