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TIDAL ENERGY Tidal power, also called tidal energy, is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides

into electricity or other useful forms of power. The first large-scale tidal power plant (the Rance Tidal Power Station) started operation in 1966. Although not yet widely used, tidal power has potential for future electricity generation. Tides are more predictable than wind energy and solar power. Among sources of renewable energy, tidal power has traditionally suffered from relatively high cost and limited availability of sites with sufficiently high tidal ranges or flow velocities, thus constricting its total availability. However, many recent technological developments and improvements, both in design (e.g. dynamic tidal power, tidal lagoons) and turbine technology (e.g. new axial turbines, cross flow turbines), indicate that the total availability of tidal power may be much higher than previously assumed, and that economic and environmental costs may be brought down to competitive levels. Tidal power is the only form of energy which derives directly from the relative motions of the Earth Moon system, and to a lesser extent from the Earth Sun system. Tidal forces produced by the Moon and Sun, in combination with Earth's rotation, are responsible for the generation of the tides. Other sources of energy originate directly or indirectly from the Sun, including fossil fuels, conventional hydroelectric, wind, bio fuels, wave power and solar. Nuclear energy makes use of Earth's mineral deposits of fissile elements, while geothermal power uses the Earth's internal heat which comes from a combination of residual heat from planetary accretion (about 20%) and heat produced through radioactive decay (80%). Tidal energy is extracted from the relative motion of large bodies of water. Periodic changes of water levels, and associated tidal currents, are due to the gravitational attraction of the Sun and Moon. Magnitude of the tide at a location is the result of the changing positions of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth, the effects of Earth rotation, and the local geography of the sea floor and coastlines. Because the Earth's tides are ultimately due to gravitational interaction with the Moon and Sun and the Earth's rotation, tidal power is practically inexhaustible and classified as a renewable energy resource. A tidal generator uses this phenomenon to generate electricity. Greater tidal variation or tidal current velocities can dramatically increase the potential for tidal electricity generation. Tidal power can be classified into three generating methods: 1) Tidal stream generator makes use of the kinetic energy of moving water to power turbines, in a similar way to wind turbines that use moving air. This method is gaining in popularity because of the lower cost and lower ecological impact compared to tidal barrages. 2) Tidal barrage make use of the potential energy in the difference in height (or head) between high and low tides. Barrages are essentially dams across the full width of a tidal estuary, and suffer from very high civil infrastructure costs, a worldwide shortage of viable sites and environmental issues. 3) Dynamic tidal power (or DTP) is a theoretical generation technology that would exploit an interaction between potential and kinetic energies in tidal flows. It proposes that very long dams (for example: 30 50 km length) be built from coasts straight out into the sea or ocean, without enclosing an area. Tidal phase differences are introduced by the dam, leading to a significant water level differential (at least 2 3 meters) in shallow coastal seas featuring strong coast-parallel oscillating tidal currents such as found in the UK, China and Korea. Each dam would generate power at a scale of 6 - 15 GW.

A tidal stream generator, often referred to as a tidal energy converter (TEC) is a machine that extracts energy from moving masses of water, in particular tides, although the term is often used in reference to machines designed to extract energy from run of river or tidal estuarine sites. Certain types of these machines function very much like underwater wind turbines, and are thus often referred to as tidal turbines. Tidal stream generators are the cheapest and the least ecologically damaging among the three main forms of tidal power generation. Similarity to wind turbines Tidal stream generators draw energy from water currents in much the same way as wind turbines draw energy from air currents. As a relatively new technology, though first conceived in the 1970s during the oil crisis, the potential for power generation by an individual tidal turbine can be greater than that of similarly rated wind energy turbine. The higher density of water relative to air (water is about 800 times the density of air) means that a single generator can provide significant power at low tidal flow velocities compared with similar wind speed. Given that power varies with the density of medium and the cube of velocity, it is simple to see that water speeds of nearly one-tenth of the speed of wind provide the same power for the same size of turbine system; however this limits the application in practice to places where the tide moves at speeds of at least 2 knots (1 m/s) even close to neap tides. Furthermore, at higher speeds in a flow between 2 to 3 meters per second in seawater a tidal turbine can typically access four times as much energy per rotor swept area as a similarly rated power wind turbine. Types of tidal stream generators Since tidal stream generators are an immature technology, no standard technology has yet emerged as the clear winner, but large varieties of designs are being experimented with, some very close to large scale deployment. Several prototypes have shown promise with many companies making bold claims, some of which are yet to be independently verified, but they have not operated commercially for extended periods to establish performances and rates of return on investments. Axial turbines Evopod - A semi-submerged floating approach tested in Strangford Lough .These are close in concept to traditional windmills operating under the sea and have the most prototypes currently operating. These include: Kvalsund, south of Hammerfest, Norway, although still a prototype, a turbine with a reported capacity of 300 kW was connected to the grid on 13 November 2003. A 300 kW Periodflow marine current propeller type turbine Seaflow was installed by Marine Current Turbines off the coast of Lynmouth, Devon, England, in 2003. The 11m diameter turbine generator was fitted to a steel pile which was driven into the seabed. As a prototype, it was connected to a dump load, not to the grid. Since April 2007 Verdant Power has been running a prototype project in the East River between Queens and Roosevelt Island in New York City; it was the first major tidal-power project in the United States. The strong currents pose challenges to the design: the blades of the 2006 and 2007 prototypes broke off, and new reinforced turbines were installed in September 2008.

Following the Seaflow trial, a fullsize prototype, called SeaGen, was installed by Marine Current Turbines in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland in April 2008. The turbine began to generate at full power of just over 1.2 MW in December 2008 and is reported to have fed 150 kW into the grid for the first time on 17 July 2008, and has now contributed more than a gigawatt hour to consumers in Northern Ireland. It is currently the only commercial scale device to have been installed anywhere in the world. SeaGen is made up of two axial flow rotors, each of which drive a generator. The turbines are capable of generating electricity on both the ebb and flood tides because the rotor blades can pitch through 180 . Open Hydro, an Irish company exploiting the Open-Centre Turbine developed in the U.S., has a prototype being tested at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), in Orkney, Scotland. A prototype semi-submerged floating tethered tidal turbine called Evopod has been tested since June 2008[16] in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland at 1/10 scale. The company developing it is called Ocean Flow Energy Ltd,[17] and they are based in the UK. The advanced hull form maintains optimum heading into the tidal stream and it is designed to operate in the peak flow of the water column. Tenax Energy of Australia is proposing to put 450 turbines off the coast of the Australian city Darwin, in the Clarence Strait. The turbines feature a rotor section that is approximately 15 metres in diameter with a gravity base which is slighter larger than this to support the structure. The turbines will operate in deep water well below shipping channels. Each turbine is forecast to produce energy for between 300 and 400 homes. Tidal stream, a UK-based company, has commissioned a scaled-down Triton 3 turbine. It can be floated out to site, installed without cranes, jack-ups or divers, and then ballasted into operating position. At full scale the Triton 3 in 30-50m deep water has a 3MW capacity, and the Triton 6 in 60-80m water has a capacity of up to 10MW, depending on the flow. Both platforms have man-access capability both in the operating position and in the float-out maintenance position. Flow augmented turbines Using flow augmentation measures, for example a duct or shroud, the incident power available to a turbine can be increased. The most common example uses a shroud to increase the flow rate through the turbine, which can be of either the axial or cross flow type. The Australian company Tidal Energy Pty Ltd undertook successful commercial trials of efficient shrouded tidal turbines on the Gold Coast, Queensland in 2002. Tidal Energy has commenced a rollout of their shrouded turbine for a remote Australian community in northern Australia where there are some of the fastest flows ever recorded (11 m/s, 21 knots) two small turbines will provide 3.5 MW. Another larger 5 meter diameter turbine, capable of 800 kW in 4 m/s of flow, is planned for deployment as a tidal powered desalination showcase near Brisbane Australia in October 2008. Oscillating devices Oscillating devices do not have a rotating component, instead making use of aerofoil sections which are pushed sideways by the flow. Oscillating stream power extraction was proven with the Omni- or bidirectional Winged Pump windmill. During 2003 a 150 kW oscillating hydroplane device, the Stingray, was tested off the Scottish coast. The Stingray uses hydrofoils to create oscillation, which allows it to

create hydraulic power. This hydraulic power is then used to power a hydraulic motor, which then turns a generator.

Marine Current Turbines Ltd (MCT) is a United Kingdom-based company which is developing tidal stream generators. MCT was founded in 2000 to develop ideas of tidal power developed by Peter Fraenkel, who had previously been a founder partner of IT Power, a consultancy established to further the development of sustainable energy technologies. The company is based in Bristol and employed 15 people in 2007. By 2003, MCT had installed a 300 kW experimental tidal turbine 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) northeast of Lynmouth, Devon and by 2008 they had a 1.2 MW turbine, SeaGen, in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland which was able to feed electricity into the National Grid. They now have contracts to install a full tidal farm in the Skerries, off northwest Wales and projects in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia and Vancouver, Canada. The technology developed by MCT works much the same as a submerged windmill, driven by the flow of water rather than air. Tidal flows are more predictable than air flows both in time and maximum velocity and it is therefore possible to bring designs closer to the theoretical maximum. The turbines have a patented feature by which they can take advantage of the reversal of flow every 6 hours and generate on both flow and ebb of the tide. The tips of the blades are well below the surface so will not be a danger to shipping or be vulnerable to storms. Because the blades are relatively slow moving (15 rpm) and there are only two, it is considered unlikely that there will be adverse environmental impacts on fish or other aquatic life, and a monitoring project has been set up in the Strangford Lough project to confirm this. Two approaches are being followed, one for relatively shallow waters, up to 30 metres (98 ft), and the other for deeper waters. In shallow waters, the turbines are suspended on a tower which extends above the surface of the water and enables the turbines to be lifted clear of the water for maintenance purposes. But since the number of sites around the world where this is possible is finite, they are also developing fully submersed systems which will take advantage of larger scale, but will also be able to be brought to the surface for maintenance. seagen SeaGen is the name given to the 1.2MW tidal energy convertor that was installed in Strangford Lough in April 2008. Sea Generation Ltd is the project company which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marine Current Turbines Ltd. SeaGen has been licensed for a maximum installed duration of 5 years. Marine Current Turbines Ltd have been operating the 300kW Sea flow tidal energy system at Lynmouth, Devon since May 2003 and are recognized as being one of the world s leading tidal energy system developers The proposal to install SeaGen in Strangford Lough was initiated in November 2003. The environmental consultancy, Royal Haskoning Ltd was appointed in 2004 to scope the environmental considerations and conduct the environmental impact assessment. The final Environmental Impact Study was submitted to the regulatory authority, the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) in Northern Ireland in June 2005.

The FEPA license for the temporary installation for the SeaGen system for five year duration was first issued in December 2005, revised in February 2007 and again in February 2008.Pre-installation environmental monitoring commenced in May 2004. A baseline report has been completed and was submitted to EHS in August 2006. The environmental impact of SeaGen will be continuously monitored by independent science team throughout the licensed 5 year installation period The project is being managed by Royal Haskoning with Queens University Belfast and the Sea Mammal Research Unit providing the science input. David Erwin, a well known environmental scientist in Northern Ireland chairs the working science group and stakeholder meetings. Site Preparation In anticipation of the SeaGen installation in April 2008, the Horizontal Directional Drilled (HDD) bore hole for the power cable was been completed in June 2007, and the substation was completed in April 2008.The works to the left of the access road relates to the HDD drill site operations which was completed in 2007.The SeaGen system will be connected to an existing grid connection adjacent to the sewerage substation south of Strangford in 2008 and first exported the full 1.2MW capacity in December 2008. A 450m long HDD bore hole 300mm diameter was drilled 20m below the seabed so that during installation the 11kV power cable could be pulled through the duct. In February 2008 temporary subsea mooring piles were installed to anchor the construction vessels to. These will remain in place until SeaGen is decommissioned. Harland and Wolff were used as the base for operations for the installation in 2008.The SeaGen components were manufactured in various locations in UK and Europe. The significant subsystems were tested at locations close to Marine Current Turbines office in Bristol prior to being delivered to Harland and Wolff for final system assembly and preparation for installation FUTURE PLAN UK tidal energy company, Marine Current Turbines, is targeting 2013 to install Scotland s first tidal energy farm. The company, which designed and deployed the world s first commercial scale offshore tidal stream energy system in Northern Ireland s Strangford Lough, is investigating the feasibility of a tidal farm in Kyle Rhea, a strait of water between the Isle of Skye and the Scottish mainland. The project will have the capacity to generate electricity for up to 4,000 homes in the Highlands & Islands by harnessing the power of the fast tidal currents that pass through Kyle Rhea 14 hours a day. It will also give a multi-million pound boost to the Highlands & Islands economy as local businesses can expect to participate in the tidal farm s installation, operation and maintenance. The development of the project is subject to securing a lease agreement from The Crown Estate, securing planning approval from Marine Scotland (part of the Scottish Government) and raising the finance for the project. Marine Current Turbines (MCT) estimates that the cost of the 5MW Kyle Rhea scheme, consisting of four SeaGen tidal units, will be 35million. For the past nine months, MCT has undertaken a series of environmental and technical studies and consulted a range of local and national organizations. The work to date has confirmed the suitability of the site and subject to further studies being carried out and further consultations, MCT aims to submit a planning application towards the end of next year (2011). MCT, with the support of the environmental consultancy Royal Haskoning (based in Edinburgh), has already consulted a range of organizations about its plans including the Highland Council and local

councilors, Marine Scotland, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the Northern Lighthouse Board, the RSPB, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Glenelg and Arnisdale Development Trust and the RNLI based at Kyle of Lochalsh.

David Ainsworth, MCT s Project Manager for the Kyle Rhea project, said: Engagement with local interests is an important part of our work and so far the response to our plans has been generally positive. Our experience of working in Strangford Lough has been hugely valuable in taking forward our plans for Kyle Rhea, and has helped assure people about the impacts of deploying our technology. Next year, we will hold a public exhibition in Glenelg before our planning application is finalized to give local people the opportunity to find out more about the project and the benefits that it will bring.

If the Kyle Rhea tidal project is approved and financed, the scheme will not only generate clean energy but also give local firms the chance to be involved in the tidal farm s installation and operation. In Northern Ireland, a number of local companies such as marine support vessels, engineering and electrical contractors, civil engineers, environmental scientists and divers as well as local hotels, pubs and restaurants have benefited from MCT s Strangford Lough project. It is estimated that the project has contributed more than 4million into the Northern Irish economy over the past three years.

As well as retaining the services of Royal Haskoning (with regard to consultations with the regulatory authorities and the environmental studies), other Scottish firms that have been being involved in the project to date are the Aberdeen office of Partrac and SMRU Ltd based in St Andrews. Scotland s Burntisland Fabrications constructed the quadropod structure that supports the single SeaGen in Strangford Lough.