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Collisional growth of cloud droplets is an essential yet uncertain process for drizzle and precipitation formation. To improve the quantitative understanding of this key component of cloud-aerosol-turbulence interactions, observational studies of collision-coalescence in a controlled laboratory environment are needed. In an existing convection-cloud chamber (the Pi Chamber), collisional growth is limited by low liquid water content and short droplet residence times. In this work, we use numerical simulations to explore various configurations of a convection-cloud chamber that may intensify collision-coalescence. We employ a large-eddy simulation (LES) model with a size-resolved (bin) cloud microphysics scheme to explore how cloud properties and the intensity of collision-coalescence are affected by the chamber size and aspect ratio, surface roughness, side-wall wetness, side-wall temperature arrangement, and aerosol injection rate. Simulations without condensation and evaporation within the domain are first performed to explore the turbulence dynamics and wall fluxes. The LES wall fluxes are used to modify the Scalar Flux-budget Model, which is then applied to demonstrate the need for non-uniform side-wall temperature (two side walls as warm as the bottom and the two others as cold as the top) to maintain high supersaturation in a tall chamber. The results of LES with full cloud microphysics reveal that collision-coalescence is greatly enhanced by employing a taller chamber with saturated side walls, non-uniform side-wall temperature, and rough surfaces. For the conditions explored, although lowering the aerosol injection rate broadens the droplet size distribution, favoring collision-coalescence, the reduced droplet number concentration decreases the frequency of collisions.

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© 2024 Battelle Memorial Institute and Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research e. V. and The Authors. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Geophysical Union. Publisher’s version of record:

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Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems


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