Energy Research at the University of Washington

James J. Riley

Energy Research Area: Modeling for computer simulations of turbulent combustion, tidal currents, and stable atmospheric boundary layers

Adjunct Professor, Applied Mathematics
College of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

We are performing extremely high resolution computer simulations of turbulence, using highly scalable computer codes on massively parallel computers, in a variety of applications. Computer simulation of turbulent combustion, whether for power plants, internal combustion engines, diesel engines, gas turbine engines, or other combustion devices, plays a major role in both improving combustion efficiency and decreasing overall pollutants. High-resolution computer simulations of tidal flow through Admiralty Inlet are being conducted to better understand the flow dynamics and its potential effects on tidal energy turbines, as well to estimate the levels of content in the water of oxygen and other important chemicals and possible effects of the turbines. Stable atmospheric boundary layers are characterized by the air near the ground being cooler than the air aloft. This condition, which often occurs on clear nights, results in suppression of turbulence and therefore less mixing of pollutants, e.g., from various combustion devices, released into the atmosphere. The latter can result in severe pollution episodes. Of particular interest is the development of models meant to simulate larger-scale flows, and the estimation of pollutant dispersion rates in these stable flow fields.

Jim Riley discussing tidal currents in Admiralty Inlet with graduate student Kristen Thyng.
Jim Riley discussing tidal currents in Admiralty Inlet with graduate student Kristen Thyng.

Research Images

Jim Riley discussing computer simulations of turbulent jets with graduate students Saensuk Wetchagarun and Steve Clark

Campus and Other Collaborators/Partners

Record last updated on November 28th 2011 PDT.