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3.3.3 Temperature Difference

The requirements of a particular application should be used as a guide in determining how to make measurements of vertical temperature difference in complex terrain. Stable plume rise and the critical dividing streamline height (Hcrit ), which separates flow that tends to move around a hill (below Hcrit ) from flow that tends to pass over a hill (above Hcrit ), are both sensitive to the vertical temperature gradient. The height ranges of interest are from stack top to plume height for the former and from plume height to the top of the terrain feature for the latter. The direct measurement of the complete temperature profile is often desirable but not always practical. The following discussion presents several alternatives for measuring the vertical temperature gradient along with some pros and cons.

Tower measurement: A tower measurement of temperature difference can be used as a representation of the temperature profile. The measurement should be taken between two elevated levels on the tower (e.g. 50 and 100 meters) and should meet the specifications for temperature difference discussed in Section 5.0. A separation of 50 m between the two sensors is preferred. The tower itself could be located at stack base elevation or on elevated terrain: optimum location depends on the height of the plume. Both locations may be subject to radiation effects that may not be experienced by the plume if it is significantly higher than the tower.

The vertical extent of the temperature probe may be partially in and partially out of  the surface boundary layer, or may in some situations be entirely contained in the surface boundary layer while the plume may be above the surface boundary layer.

Balloon-based temperature measurements: Temperature profiles taken by balloon-basedsystems can provide the necessary information but are often not practical for developing a long-term data base. One possible use of balloon-based temperature soundings is in developing better "default" values of the potential temperature gradient on a site-specific basis. A possible approach would be to schedule several periods of intensive soundings during the course of a year and then derive appropriate default values keyed to stability category and wind speed and/or other appropriate variables. The number and scheduling of these intensive periods should be established as part of a sampling protocol.

Deep-layer absolute temperature measurements: If the vertical scale of the situation being modeled is large enough (200 meters or more), it may be acceptable to take the difference between two independent measurements of absolute temperature (i.e., temperature measurements would be taken on two different towers, one at plant site and one on terrain) to serve as a surrogate measurement of the temperature profile. This approach must be justified on a case-by-case basis, and should be taken only with caution. Its application should be subject to the following limitations:

  • Depth of the layer should be 200 meters at a minimum;

  • The measurement height on each tower should be at least 60 meters;

  • Horizontal separation of the towers should not exceed 2 kilometers;

  • No internal boundary layers should be present, such as near shorelines; and

  • Temperature profiles developed with the two-tower system should be verified with a program of balloon-based temperature profile measurements.

 3.1 Representativeness 
     3.1.1 Objectives for Siting 
     3.1.2 Factors to Consider  
 3.2 Simple Terrain Locations 
     3.2.1 Speed and Wind Direction  
     3.2.2 Temperature, Temperature Difference, and Humidity
     3.2.3 Precipitation  
     3.2.4 Pressure 
      3.2.5 Radiation 
 3.3 Complex Terrain Locations  
     3.3.1 Wind Speed  
     3.3.2 Wind Direction 
     3.3.3 Temperature Difference 
  3.4 Coastal Locations
 3.5 Urban Locations 
 3.6 Recommendations

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