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Title: Modeling the Effects of Tidal Energy Extraction on Estuarine Hydrodynamics in a Stratified Estuary

A three-dimensional coastal ocean model with a tidal turbine module was used in this paper to study the effects of tidal energy extraction on temperature and salinity stratification and density driven two-layer estuarine circulation. Numerical experiments with various turbine array configurations were carried out to investigate the changes in tidally mean temperature, salinity and velocity profiles in an idealized stratified estuary that connects to coastal water through a narrow tidal channel. The model was driven by tides, river inflow and sea surface heat flux. To represent the realistic size of commercial tidal farms, model simulations were conducted based on a small percentage of the total number of turbines that would generate the maximum extractable energy in the system. Model results indicated that extraction of tidal energy will increase the vertical mixing and decrease the stratification in the estuary. Extraction of tidal energy has stronger impact on the tidally-averaged salinity, temperature and velocity in the surface layer than the bottom. Energy extraction also weakens the two-layer estuarine circulation, especially during neap tides when tidal mixing the weakest and energy extraction is the smallest. Model results also show that energy generation can be much more efficient with higher hub height with relativelymore » small changes in stratification and two-layer estuarine circulation.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Estuaries and Coasts, 38(1 Supplement):187-202
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States