Data collected in the field plays an essential role in the process of new discoveries and improvement of our measurement techniques. In our research this often involves the attribution of gas emissions to various sources; sources previously thought to be non-emitting. Field experimentation and data collection has associated uncertainty and using computer modelling software, such as ANSYS Fluent, allows us to improve our measurement techniques by running synthetic experiments which create a more controlled setting. Controlling and reducing the number of variables streamlines our potential to correctly attribute gas sources.

The corrections for measured wind speeds derived through Tara Hanlon’s MSc computer modelling work is a perfect example of how useful computer models can be when used in tandem with real world, experimental data. Through her collection of field data she developed a hypothesis that wind measurements taken from a moving platform appeared to have been over estimated after subtracting the vehicle speed. Using ANSYS Fluent, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, variables such as frontal wind speed and yaw angle could be altered. Patterns between these variables and the magnitude of over estimation were evident. This allowed for a mathematical relationship to be developed between the vehicle speed, yaw angle and the correction for the overestimation.

Managing methane and other forms of pollution rests on the ability to take accurate measurements. The backbone of FluxLab’s overall goal of improving measurement techniques relies on controlled gas release experiments where measurements can be validated based on known emission magnitudes and sources. Measuring and controlling other parameters is often difficult, and is only made possible with the use of computer modelling software, such as ANSYS Fluent.

FluxLab is thankful for the use of ANSYS Fluent and assistance from their personnel!