Tidal stream energy site assessment via three-dimensional model and measurements

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Work, Paul A.
Haas, Kevin A.
Defne, Zafer
Gay, Thomas
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Tidal power
Hydrodynamic impact
Hydrodynamic numerical model
Acoustic Doppler current profiler
Parris Island
Beaufort River
South Carolina
A methodology for assessment of the potential impacts of extraction of energy associated with astronomical tides is described and applied to a site on the Beaufort River in coastal South Carolina, U.S.A. Despite its name, the site features negligible freshwater inputs; like many in the region, it is a tidal estuary that resembles a river. A three-dimensional, numerical, hydrodynamic model was applied for a period exceeding a lunar month, allowing quantification of harmonic constituents of water level and velocity, and comparison to values derived from measurements, recorded at a location within the model domain. The measurement campaign included surveys of bathymetry and velocity fields during ebb and flood portions of a tidal cycle for model validation. Potential far-field impacts of a generic tidal energy conversion device were simulated by introducing an additional drag force in the model to enhance dissipation, resulting in 10-60% dissipation of the pre-existing kinetic power within a flow cross-section. The model reveals e ffects of the dissipation on water levels and velocities in adjacent areas, which are relatively small even at the 60% dissipation level. A method is presented to estimate the optimal vertical location for the energy conversion device and the potential power sacrificed by moving to a di fferent altitude.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2012. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Applied Energy 102 (2013): 510-519, doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.08.040.
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