NREL Completes Validation Study of RU-WRF Model

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently completed an independent validation study of the performance of the RUCOOL real-time weather model (RU-WRF) that is used for wind resource assessment work. Their study evaluated the input data and parameters used by the RU-WRF model, including RUCOOL’s innovative Coldest Dark Pixel sea surface temperature product, and compared it to other model forcing data and model setups, including a setup that mirrors the NREL WIND Toolkit. In particular, they found that the planetary boundary layer scheme used in RU-WRF was more accurate for offshore wind resource modeling, particularly when upgrading the underlying version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to version 4.0. Additionally, they found that the coldest pixel SST product was more accurate than other widely used SST products for this region, which helped to provide improvements in model accuracy.

More information on the model, including model output, is available on the RU-WRF Model page. The full report can be found through NREL. Support for RU-WRF and the validation study has been provided by the State of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.