skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Modeling In-stream Tidal Energy Extraction and Its Potential Environmental Impacts

In recent years, there has been growing interest in harnessing in-stream tidal energy in response to concerns of increasing energy demand and to mitigate climate change impacts. While many studies have been conducted to assess and map tidal energy resources, efforts for quantifying the associated potential environmental impacts have been limited. This paper presents the development of a tidal turbine module within a three-dimensional unstructured-grid coastal ocean model and its application for assessing the potential environmental impacts associated with tidal energy extraction. The model is used to investigate in-stream tidal energy extraction and associated impacts on estuarine hydrodynamic and biological processes in a tidally dominant estuary. A series of numerical experiments with varying numbers and configurations of turbines installed in an idealized estuary were carried out to assess the changes in the hydrodynamics and biological processes due to tidal energy extraction. Model results indicated that a large number of turbines are required to extract the maximum tidal energy and cause significant reduction of the volume flux. Preliminary model results also indicate that extraction of tidal energy increases vertical mixing and decreases flushing rate in a stratified estuary. The tidal turbine model was applied to simulate tidal energy extraction in Pugetmore » Sound, a large fjord-like estuary in the Pacific Northwest coast.« less
; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Proceedings of the 10th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference , 2013:n/a
European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference , London, United Kingdom.
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States