Renewable Energy is becoming an increasingly important source of energy for the world as fossil fuels become scarcer and are subject to world supply and demand. Wind Energy is one of many renewable energy sources and modeling the locations where this is a viable energy alternative is one way that we can contribute to this growing field with our expertise in atmospheric sciences, fluid dynamics, and mechanical engineering.
Computers running under the LINUX and Windows platform have been used to run a hybrid wind energy model. The models are in the process of being improved and validated. Some sample results are shown below using the Eta Model and CALMET. In addition, the initial models were coupled to CFD models for more detailed examination of the wind sites.
Simulated Predicted Wind Fields for Northern Colorado
Improvements to wind predictions are also being investigated using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) by producing winds at 90 m resolution. Dr. Roney hase experience using STAR-CD and OpenFOAM for these types of applications.
As a research scientist at ITT Corporation, Dr. Roney has worked extensively with a fast running computational fluid dynamics model known as RUSTIC which was designed for urban transport and dispersion. Dr. Roney has worked at further aiding in development and validation of the models used for RUSTIC. These types of models could also be potentially used as the 3rd-level of detail in a hybrid modeling system used for wind energy predictions and micrositing in complex terrain and urban environments and would provide an analysis in much quicker time frames.
As a research scientist at ITT Corporation, Dr. Roney has developed a rural micrometeorological model and atmospheric turbulence model know as RMAT. This model was developed to provide atmospheric boundary conditions such as sensible heat fluxes and boundary layer heights for more sophisticated CFD-like atmospheric models and to provide an estimation of wind fields and turbulence in the atmosphere for rural transport and dispersion problems. The model uses standard atmospheric observations to predict and model the atmospheric conditions based on atmospheric parameterizations.
Dr. Roney is also quite knowledgeable about the micrometeorology used in the CALMET and AERMOD models.
An analysis of observational wind above 60,000 ft was investigated for the purpose of near-space applications. The observations were fit with Weibull distributions and a statistical model formed for two North American sites corresponding to White Sands, NM, and Akron, OH. In a collaborative effort these wind models were used to determine the energy requirements of a station-keeping notional airship operating above 60,000 ft using solar panels for energy.
Though these methods were applied for near-space applications, they are those that are used commonly to establish climatology and wind-speed distribution for wind turbine siting.
Statistical distributions of all upper level wind observations for year 2004, at 65,000 to 72,000 ft above White Sands, NM.
Mean wind speed upper level wind observations for several years at 65,000 to 72,000 ft establishing a climatology.
Monthly upper level wind observations distribution for a single month at 65,000 to 72,000 ft showing the possible flat nature of the distribution showing the range of multiple wind speeds that may be encountered.
J. Roney, D. Burrows, and C. Tobin, “RUSTIC/MESO transport and dispersion modeling”, Presented at 14th Annual George Mason University Conference on “Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion Modeling”, July 13-15, 2010.
J.A. Roney, D.A, Burrows, C. Tobin, “RUSTIC/MESO, a rapid transport and dispersion modeling system”, Presented at the Fifth International Symposium on Computational Wind Engineering (CWE2010) Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA May 23-27, 2010