This study uses the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) 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 Dalpé and Masson. The model is paired with a modified k–ε turbulence closure. A set of boundary conditions (BCs) that rely on the law of the wall for a sustainable atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is used. All simulations are conducted in the open source software OpenFOAM v.2.4.0 (OpenCFD Ltd (ESI Group)). 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 α 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 Dalpé and Masson is limited to cyclic BCs which are not practical for real sites. For cases without cyclic BCs, 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.
Evaluating the Accuracy of RANS Wind Flow Modeling Over Forested Terrain—Part 1: Canopy Model Validation
Manuscript received February 21, 2018; final manuscript received December 1, 2018; published online February 19, 2019. Editor: Robert F. Boehm.
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Morales Garza, V. G., Sumner, J., Nathan, J., and Masson, C. (February 19, 2019). "Evaluating the Accuracy of RANS Wind Flow Modeling Over Forested Terrain—Part 1: Canopy Model Validation." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. August 2019; 141(4): 041009. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4042242
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