Mesoscale-Microscale Coupling


This model performance study features several federally funded U.S. laboratories collaborating on various mesoscale and microscale model simulations and assessments to establish a validated model for the inflow conditions at the Scaled Wind Farm Technology Facility (SWiFT), located at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The collected field data observed at SWiFT display ranges of atmospheric behaviors. The project spans March 2015 through September 2018.

Primary Contact(s)

Amy DeCastro
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Sue Haupt
National Center for Atmospheric Research


The Mesoscale-Microscale Coupling project is developing and validating first-principles-based, high-fidelity physics models within an open-source simulation environment using formal verification and validation processes to assess how stable, neutral, and unstable/convective conditions influence wake energy on wind farm turbines and affect their overall energy output. Initially, this involves determining metrics for comparing the variables that define turbulence affecting shadowed turbines at fine scales.

Already, the team has developed and distributed code that includes specific variables important to coupling mesoscale to microscale models. It also can save cases in a format viable for comparison with SWiFT tower data for selected cases and times.


Data profiles will be made available from SWiFT’s 200-m meteorological (data acquisition) tower and a radar wind profiler. Spatial statistics from other towers in the region also will be assessed (when available).

The SWiFT site hosts three 300-kw V27 wind turbines (two are deployed by Sandia National Laboratories).

Data Variables

Variables being assessed include:

  • Wind speed (mean; median)
  • Wind direction
  • Temperature
  • Turbulence kinetic energy
  • Velocity spectra
  • Velocity cospectra (Co(u,w) and Co(v,w)—vertical/horizontal wind speed joint spectra)
  • Boundary layer depth (based on wind profiler data)
  • Surface flux of heat
  • Surface flux of momentum
  • Shear across the rotor (40–120 m)
  • Veer across the rotor (40–120 m)
  • Turbulence intensity across the rotor (40–120 m)
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