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AERMOD CHANGES AND
UPDATES
Sergio Guerra
27th Annual Conference on the Environment
November 13, 2012
What does AERMOD have in common
with a crystal ball?
Both are used to predict the future
What is an Air Quality Model?
An

attempt to predict or simulate the ambient
concentrations of contaminants in an area of...
AERMOD
• AERMOD is a steady-state plume model that incorporates

air dispersion based on planetary boundary layer
turbulen...
Outline
1. Gently Sloping Terrain
2. AERMINUTE
3. EPA Formula Height
Gibson Generating Station
• Review of IDEM’s AERMOD Evaluation for the Gibson

Generating Station
• Robert Paine and Carlo...
Gibson Generating Station
• The Indiana Department of Environmental Management

(IDEM) conducted an evaluation of AERMOD
•...
Gibson Generating Station
Gibson Generating Station
• Low winds produced highest concentrations (~0.5 m/s)
• Plume travel distance within an hour is...
1. Gently Sloping Terrain
Comparison of AERMOD Modeled 1-hour SO2
Concentrations to Observations at Multiple Monitoring
St...
Evaluation Opportunity in North Dakota
• Mercer County: Antelope Valley Station and Great Plains
•
•
•
•
•

Synfuels Plant...
Dakota Gasification Co.
• Allowable emissions used for all sources, assumed to be

constantly at peak rates
• Receptors pl...
Kaplan, M.; Paine, R. (2012). “Model Evaluation of AERMOD at a Monitoring Network in North Dakota.” Presented at the 10th ...
Kaplan, M.; Paine, R. (2012). “Model Evaluation of AERMOD at a Monitoring Network in North Dakota.” Presented at the 10th ...
Kaplan, M.; Paine, R. (2012). “Model Evaluation of AERMOD at a Monitoring Network in North Dakota.” Presented at the 10th ...
Gently Sloping Terrain Evaluation
Test of generic tall stack buoyant source
• Modeled both flat and very gentle terrain
• ...
Kaplan, M.; Paine, R. (2012). “Model Evaluation of AERMOD at a Monitoring Network in North Dakota.” Presented at the 10th ...
Gently Sloping Terrain
• AERMOD has unusual prediction result for very low wind,
•
•
•
•

stable conditions and low slope
...
2. AERMINUTE
• Concentrations not calculated in AERMOD for hours with
•
•
•

•

calm or missing meteorological data
AERMIN...
2. AERMINUTE

http://www.epa.gov/scram001/10thmodconf/presentations/1-7-aerminute_update.pdf
2. AERMINUTE

http://www.epa.gov/scram001/10thmodconf/presentations/1-7-aerminute_update.pdf
2. AERMINUTE
• Effect of AERMINUTE is also introduction of very low

speed winds that can result in significantly higher
c...
3. EPA formula height
• Good Engineering Practice (GEP) stack height
• The stack height at which a plume released from a s...
3. EPA formula height
Before April 2011

After April 2011

• Before AERMOD v.

• Since AERMOD v. 11059

11059, building
do...
3. EPA formula height
• EPA: GEP height does not represent height when

downwash effects become negligible but 40% increas...
Conclusion
• Compliance is a Journey
• Knowing about the challenges related to gently sloping

terrain, ARMINUTE, and the ...
Questions?
Sergio A. Guerra
Environmental Engineer
Phone: (651) 395-5225
sguerra@wenck.com
AERMOD CHANGES AND UPDATES
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AERMOD CHANGES AND UPDATES

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Presentation includes information related to gently sloping terrain, AERMINUTE, and EPA formula height.
Presented at the 27th Annual Conference on the Environment on November 13, 2012.

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Transcript of "AERMOD CHANGES AND UPDATES"

  1. 1. AERMOD CHANGES AND UPDATES Sergio Guerra 27th Annual Conference on the Environment November 13, 2012
  2. 2. What does AERMOD have in common with a crystal ball?
  3. 3. Both are used to predict the future
  4. 4. What is an Air Quality Model? An attempt to predict or simulate the ambient concentrations of contaminants in an area of interest An Air Quality Model can be as simple as an algebraic equation or more complex
  5. 5. AERMOD • AERMOD is a steady-state plume model that incorporates air dispersion based on planetary boundary layer turbulence structure and scaling concepts, including treatment of both surface and elevated sources, and both simple and complex terrain • AERMOD replaced the Industrial Source Complex (ISCST3) model as EPA’s regulatory model on December 9, 2006 • Preprocessors include: AERMET, AERMINUTE, AERSURFACE, AERMAP, BPIP
  6. 6. Outline 1. Gently Sloping Terrain 2. AERMINUTE 3. EPA Formula Height
  7. 7. Gibson Generating Station • Review of IDEM’s AERMOD Evaluation for the Gibson Generating Station • Robert Paine and Carlos Szembek (AECOM)
  8. 8. Gibson Generating Station • The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) conducted an evaluation of AERMOD • Gibson is an isolated source with 4 stacks and 3 nearby monitors • On-site met data and hourly SO2 emission data for 2010 • Comparison of monitored versus predicted concentrations
  9. 9. Gibson Generating Station
  10. 10. Gibson Generating Station • Low winds produced highest concentrations (~0.5 m/s) • Plume travel distance within an hour is short of the distance needed to reach maximum receptors • Formulation problem or coding error related to sigma-z (used to calculate effective mixing lid)
  11. 11. 1. Gently Sloping Terrain Comparison of AERMOD Modeled 1-hour SO2 Concentrations to Observations at Multiple Monitoring Stations in North Dakota Paper 2012-A-353-AWMA Mary M. Kaplan, Robert Paine (AECOM)
  12. 12. Evaluation Opportunity in North Dakota • Mercer County: Antelope Valley Station and Great Plains • • • • • Synfuels Plant Electrical generating unit sources dominate SO2 emissions – hourly data available Five SO2 monitors in area within about 10 km of two nearby “central” sources Site‐specific PSD quality meteorological data years available (10‐m tower) Major SO2 sources within 50 km were modeled Five recent years of data were used
  13. 13. Dakota Gasification Co. • Allowable emissions used for all sources, assumed to be constantly at peak rates • Receptors placed at monitor sites only, using actual terrain (even though slopes are < 2%), except to characterize the spatial concentration pattern • Four of the five monitors were at elevations near local stack base, a fifth monitor was about 100 m higher
  14. 14. Kaplan, M.; Paine, R. (2012). “Model Evaluation of AERMOD at a Monitoring Network in North Dakota.” Presented at the 10th EPA Modeling Conference, March 15, 2012. http://www.epa.gov/ttn/scram/10thmodconf/presentations/3-11-Evaluation_of_AERMOD_against_Monitoring_Data_in_North_Dakota_Paine.pdf
  15. 15. Kaplan, M.; Paine, R. (2012). “Model Evaluation of AERMOD at a Monitoring Network in North Dakota.” Presented at the 10th EPA Modeling Conference, March 15, 2012. http://www.epa.gov/ttn/scram/10thmodconf/presentations/3-11-Evaluation_of_AERMOD_against_Monitoring_Data_in_North_Dakota_Paine.pdf
  16. 16. Kaplan, M.; Paine, R. (2012). “Model Evaluation of AERMOD at a Monitoring Network in North Dakota.” Presented at the 10th EPA Modeling Conference, March 15, 2012. http://www.epa.gov/ttn/scram/10thmodconf/presentations/3-11-Evaluation_of_AERMOD_against_Monitoring_Data_in_North_Dakota_Paine.pdf
  17. 17. Gently Sloping Terrain Evaluation Test of generic tall stack buoyant source • Modeled both flat and very gentle terrain • Terrain case was uniformly sloped upward 1% in all directions • Modeled entire year of meteorology • Obtained peak concentration on each ring of receptors out to 50 km • Plots follow for flat and gently sloping terrain
  18. 18. Kaplan, M.; Paine, R. (2012). “Model Evaluation of AERMOD at a Monitoring Network in North Dakota.” Presented at the 10th EPA Modeling Conference, March 15, 2012. http://www.epa.gov/ttn/scram/10thmodconf/presentations/3-11-Evaluation_of_AERMOD_against_Monitoring_Data_in_North_Dakota_Paine.pdf
  19. 19. Gently Sloping Terrain • AERMOD has unusual prediction result for very low wind, • • • • stable conditions and low slope Problem is, in part, caused by very low mixing height that leads to very compact plume Mixing height is below building obstacles, which the model does not know about Plume stays perfectly level; terrain should not be considered in these cases With terrain, result is an unexpected plume impact “hump” at point of terrain impact
  20. 20. 2. AERMINUTE • Concentrations not calculated in AERMOD for hours with • • • • calm or missing meteorological data AERMINUTE supplements calm hours with hourly values based on two minute ASOS winds Non-regulatory component of AERMOD Purpose of AERMINUTE is not to increase conservatism but to “reclaim” data that was lost due to METAR reporting in NWS data Light wind conditions may be controlling factor in some cases due to limited dilution
  21. 21. 2. AERMINUTE http://www.epa.gov/scram001/10thmodconf/presentations/1-7-aerminute_update.pdf
  22. 22. 2. AERMINUTE http://www.epa.gov/scram001/10thmodconf/presentations/1-7-aerminute_update.pdf
  23. 23. 2. AERMINUTE • Effect of AERMINUTE is also introduction of very low speed winds that can result in significantly higher concentrations • EPA pending clarification memo • 1-minute ASOS : • Data representative • More appropriate given AERMOD’s 1-hr time step • EPA recommends its use to supplement NWS data • Proposed 0.5 m/s (1 knot) threshold • AERMET update will include an option to specify wind threshold for 1-minute ASOS data.
  24. 24. 3. EPA formula height • Good Engineering Practice (GEP) stack height • The stack height at which a plume released from a stack is not excessively affected by downwash • Hgep = Hb +1.5L • Hb = building height above stack base • L = lesser of building height and projected building width • Created a discontinuity in the dispersion profile http://www.epa.gov/apti/course422/ce1.html
  25. 25. 3. EPA formula height Before April 2011 After April 2011 • Before AERMOD v. • Since AERMOD v. 11059 11059, building downwash effects were ignored if stack height was greater to the GEP stack height • Created a discontinuity in the dispersion profile model no longer turns off downwash above the EPA formula height • Downwash effects are included for stack higher than the GEP stack height
  26. 26. 3. EPA formula height • EPA: GEP height does not represent height when downwash effects become negligible but 40% increase in concentrations due to downwash at GEP height • AERMOD 11059 “miscellaneous” change • AERMOD no longer turns off downwash above the EPA formula height • Issue for facilities designed with the previous downwash assumptions that if/when modeled again will experience increase in concentrations • Pending clarification memo to clarify this change
  27. 27. Conclusion • Compliance is a Journey • Knowing about the challenges related to gently sloping terrain, ARMINUTE, and the EPA formula height can help devise a strategy to reach your goal
  28. 28. Questions? Sergio A. Guerra Environmental Engineer Phone: (651) 395-5225 sguerra@wenck.com
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