Tidal Energy – Utilizing the Energy of Tides to Create Electrical Power

Strangford loch tidal turbine
Tidal Energy is a sort of renewable resource that makes use of the massive flux of energy bound-up in the oceans within tidal currents to produce electrical power. As most of us recognize from our science lessons, tides are the outcome of the gravitational pull upon the earth of the sun and the moon, which differs due to their elliptical orbits around the globe. These gravitational pulls/forces make our seas and oceans to fluctuate up and down in a continual and also foreseeable cycle as large amounts of water circulate around the earth. The result is that seaside locations have two high tides and 2 low level tides within somewhat more than a 24 hour cycle.

Historical Note: (from Article: First Testing of Evopod at Strangford Narrows – Pub: Ocean Flow Energy Ltd. 12 June 2008)

Before the SeaGen turbine was installed, it was necessary to carry out detailed engineering research to prove the design. The concept of such a turbine was new and there were many engineering challenges to be solved before a full scale turbine could be built and set-up in place. The research project was done by Queens University with developer Oceanflow Energy.

The video below shows the experimentation underway, and provides an example of how projects like this are developed from small scale ideas to full scale installations.

The E1 (Evopod) Tidal Energy Project: March 2011 – Operation footage from Oceanflow Energy’s Channel on Vimeo.

The first version of the OceanFlow Evapod was described in the article at the following link: First Testing of Evopod at Strangford Narrows. (12/06/2008).

Earliest Tidal Energy Use: Tidal Mills

The earliest recognized exploitation of tidal energy was made use of by tidal milling works, a few of which were created by developing a barrage (earth dam) across the mouth of watercourse tideway. Sea water was trapped in a tidal catchment tidal flows into every bit of possible energy. In fact, right into electricity in a way that is extremely much like the modern technology made use of for typical hydroelectric power today.

Modern Tidal Barrages

Tidal barrages for electricity generation use large low-head turbines which can run for a longer part of the day, each day. But, constructing dams from one side to the next over tidal tide flats is a costly procedure, for that reason the very best tidal barrage sites are those that develop a natural tidal bay which has a narrower crossing point, therefore lowering the length of the dam called for.

Electrical energy is generated by the flow of the sea water moving both right into and from a tidal bay through a water turbine, turning an electric generator to produce electricity. Because, there are 2 high as well as two low tides every day, electrical generation from tidal water power plants could be forecast years ahead of time, unlike wind energy, as well as is characterized by durations of largest generation every 12 hrs, without any electrical energy generation at the 6-hour mark in between the high tides.

Tidal Stream Generation

An additional tidal energy style that uses the currents developed by the ups and downs of the trends is Tidal Stream Generation. The videos both at the top of this page, and in the text, are both about tidal stream generation.

Tidal stream generation is extremely comparable in concept to wind power generation other than this time water currents circulate throughout a turbines rotor blades which rotate the shaft.

“In concept it is just like turning a wind turbine upside down in the water!”

The shaft (axle) of the wind turbine turns and makes electricity, similar to how wind currents turn the aerofoils for wind-power turbines. As a matter of fact, tidal stream generation locations on the sea bed could look similar to undersea wind turbine arrays as well as in locations where the coastal currents are strong, a suitable tidal stream turbine could generate much more cost-free tidal energy than a wind turbine at the exact same velocity and practically 4 times the output.

Advantages of Tidal Energy

Tidal energy has actually lots of advantages compared with other types of renewable energy with its major benefit being that it is foreseeable, which means power generation is foreseeable also, unlike wind or solar power, and also being located undersea, tidal turbines produce no emissions or noise.

Nevertheless, like numerous other types of renewable energy, tidal energy likewise has its drawbacks such as its inflexible generation times reliant upon the tides as well as the fact that it operates in the aggressive environment of the open oceans as well as seas which can be very rough and fierce, causing the tidal turbines to be damaged by the really high energy they were intended to capture.

Tidal energy is a renewable source of electrical energy that does not lead to the emission of gases suspected of causing global warming and acid rainfall. These negative effects are related to fossil fuel-generated electrical power. Usage of tidal energy can additionally lower the need for nuclear power. Changing tidal flows by putting a dam across a bay or an estuary or finding big turbines into the sea bed could, however, cause adverse impacts on marine organisms as well as coastline ecological communities, along with on navigational hazards and having a negative effect on local recreation use.

What We Think About Tidal Energy:

Tidal energy needs a big capital investment in dams, turbines as well as construction company ships, but once a “tidal energy” plant is constructed the energy it generates is basically zero fuel cost with the system being relatively inexpensive to operate, and maintain.


About the video on the top of this page:


Available versions:
Deutsch http://youtu.be/u9g9LR3B9x8
English http://youtu.be/OCpBNQfpKDA

The SeaGen tidal current power plant in Portaferry, Northern Ireland, is the first pre-commercial test facility of its kind in the world, generating enough electricity to supply 1,500 households.

A film by Alexander Linke

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