FY 2020 Report of the Atmosphere to Electrons Land-Based Mesoscale-to-Microscale Coupling Project

Sue Ellen Haupt, Robert Arthur, Larry Berg, Matthew Churchfield, Amy DeCastro, Sue Dettling, Caroline Draxl, David John Gagne, Patrick Hawbecker, Pedro Jimenez, Alex Jonko, Tim Juliano, Colleen Kaul, Branko Kosovic, William Lassman, Mukesh Kumar, Tyler McCandless, Jeff Mirocha, Eliot Quon, Raj RaiWill Shaw, Regis Santos Thedin

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The overall goal of the Mesoscale-to-Microscale Coupling (MMC) project is to improve coupling between mesoscale and microscale simulations via improved guidance and new strategies for setting up simulations and for the development of new tools that can be used across the community. Including the mesoscale forcing is critical to modeling the full energy transfer across scales in the atmosphere. The project-specific objectives include: • Apply rigorous verification and validation (V&V) techniques to the new modeling tools that are developed as part of the project to ensure the accuracy of our codes and results and to develop estimates of the relative uncertainty. • Improve computational performance of the coupled MMC models through the development of methods that can be used to reduce turbulence spin-up time and hence the size of computational domains. • Improve representation of the surface layer in microscale models to enhance simulations of hub-height wind speed. • Develop guidance for the community describing the best ways to couple mesoscale and microscale models, including specific spatial scales at which the handoff to the microscale model should occur. • Prepare documentation and a suite of software tools that can be used across the community. • Transition MMC research to the offshore environment. Major progress was made in each of these areas during FY20. The land-based portion of the project is reported herein, while the offshore portion will be reported separately. The team continued to advance the MMC tools and methodologies as well as to document their performance in journal papers and conference presentations, although several planned conferences were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages104
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-78515

Other Report Number

  • PNNL-30841


  • flow modeling
  • large-eddy simulation
  • mesoscale-microscale coupling


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