Advancement in Tidal Energy Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 4 April 2016

Advancement in Tidal Energy

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Contents :


Generation Of Tidal Energy:

Generation methods

Tidal stream generator

Tidal barrage

Dynamic tidal power


Harnessing Tidal Wave Energy with Push Plates

Tidal power issues






Tidal wave energy shows great promise, and new technologies are becoming available which can make this renewable alternative energy source more efficient and effective at replacing fossil fuels, and keeping the environment clean. More companies are investing in tidal wave research and
development, for a number of reasons. Environmentally friendly power sources which are clean and do not cause pollution or environmental harm are the key to the future, and there is more time and money being invested in these areas. Water that flows carries a great deal of energy, and the tides do not have to be extremely strong for this power to be harnessed and used. Advancements in technology have resulted in many new products and methods being considered and evaluated concerning these alternative power sources and generation methods. One drawback to this sector, and some of the older technology used, is that the fish and marine wildlife can be disturbed or harmed in some cases, so constant monitoring of the underwater environment is needed to ensure this does not happen. Tidal turbines can kill fish and other species if they get caught up in the equipment, and this can change the underwater ecosystem, so newer methods and equipment are being developed to minimize these impacts and protect the current habitat and marine life.

One advancement in tidal wave technology is being tested in the United Kingdom, and the product is called the Anaconda. This device is similar to a large rubber snake which can harness tidal wave energy and convert it to electricity. Early test results show that one device using this new technology could be capable of providing electricity and power to at least one thousand homes and businesses. The big rubber tube is filled completely with fresh water before the ends are sealed, so that none of the fish or other sea creatures decide to make the device home and move in. Tidal wave energy can be a very efficient source of power, so that fossil fuels are preserved and there is no future energy crisis. The Anaconda is a device which utilizes the newest technology available to make tidal wave energy more viable than ever, especially when it comes to providing large amounts of power in an eco-friendly way. This new technology makes significant advances in harnessing power from the tides and the ocean, and further developments can only improve these advances and make this renewable power source even more attractive.

Another advancement in tidal wave energy that was developed by companies concerns the rotation ability of the underwater tidal turbines. One of the disadvantages of these turbines is normally that they can only capture tidal
energy from one direction, so that when the tide reverses the power is not captured, and is lost instead. New equipment introduced can eliminate much of this problem, because the mounting system uses a swivel. This allows the machine to swivel around and catch the tide even after it reverses. This technology allows double the tidal wave energy to be captured without increasing costs or requiring more equipment. More investments are being made in alternative energy companies, and this includes the power which can be derived from the tides and ocean. Further development has also allowed the materials used in the equipment to be the lightest and strongest possible, so that the severe weather and sea conditions do not pose as large of a threat. The ocean tides offer vast potential for the energy needed by mankind, and this sector has seen advancements in technology that make this process more cost effective and efficient, as well as environmentally friendly

Generation Of Tidal Energy:

Tidal power is extracted from the Earth’s oceanic tides; tidal forces are periodic variations in gravitational attraction exerted by celestial bodies. These forces create corresponding motions or currents in the world’s oceans. Due to the strong attraction to the oceans, a bulge in the water level is created, causing a temporary increase in sea level. When the sea level is raised, water from the middle of the ocean is forced to move toward the shorelines, creating a tide. This occurrence takes place in an unfailing manner, due to the consistent pattern of the moon’s orbit around the earth. The magnitude and character of this motion reflects the changing positions of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth, the effects of Earth’s rotation, and local geography of the sea floor and coastlines.

Tidal power is the only technology that draws on energy inherent in the orbital characteristics of the Earth–Moon system, and to a lesser extent in the Earth–Sun system. Other natural energies exploited by human technology originate directly or indirectly with the Sun, including fossil fuel, conventional hydroelectric, wind, biofuel, wave and solar energy. Nuclear energy makes use of Earth’s mineral deposits of fissionable elements, while
geothermal power taps 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%).

A tidal generator converts the energy of tidal flows into electricity. Greater tidal variation and higher tidal current velocities can dramatically increase the potential of a site for tidal electricity generation.

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. Movement of tides causes a loss of mechanical energy in the Earth–Moon system: this is a result of pumping of water through natural restrictions around coastlines and consequent viscous dissipation at the seabed and in turbulence. This loss of energy has caused the rotation of the Earth to slow in the 4.5 billion years since its formation. During the last 620 million years the period of rotation of the earth (length of a day) has increased from 21.9 hours to 24 hours in this period the Earth has lost 17% of its rotational energy. While tidal power may take additional energy from the system, the effect is negligible and would only be noticed over millions of years.

Generation methods:

Tidal power can be classified into three generating methods:

Tidal stream generator

Tidal stream generators (or TSGs) make use of the kinetic energy of moving water to power turbines, in a similar way to wind turbines that use wind to power turbines. Some tidal generators can be built into the structures of existing bridges, involving virtually no aesthetic problems. Likewise, “tidal bridging” is a relatively new advancement that is gaining recognition as a more practical and beneficial way to generate tidal power. Blue Energy Canada is a company that is focused on building bridges to match today’s demands.

Tidal barrage

Tidal barrages make use of the potential energy in the difference in height (or head) between high and low tides. When using tidal barrages to generate power, the potential energy from a tide is seized through strategic placement of specialized dams. When the sea level rises and the tide begins to come in, the temporary increase in tidal power is channeled into a large basin behind the dam, holding a large amount of potential energy. With the receding tide, this energy is then converted into mechanical energy as the water is released through large turbines that create electrical power though the use of generators. [10] Barrages are essentially dams across the full width of a tidal estuary.

Dynamic tidal power

Dynamic tidal power (or DTP) is an untried but promising 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 across the dam, leading to a significant water-level differential in shallow coastal seas – featuring strong coast-parallel oscillating tidal currents such as found in the UK, China and Korea.


Hydrokinetic tidal power is derived from the conversion of the kinetic power in moving water to electricity and depends on the area of water intercepted by the device (a circular area for a horizontal axis rotor, rectangular area for a vertical axis rotor), the cube of the water velocity, and the efficiency at which the device extracts the power in the water and converts it to electricity. Mathematically this is described as P = ½( ρ U3Aη)

where P is the power generated by the turbine, ρ is the density of seawater
(nominally 1024 kg/m3), U is the current velocity, A is the area of water intercepted by the device, and η is the water-to-wire efficiency.

Harnessing Tidal Wave Energy with Push Plates

The Theme of Concept: Theme of concept is to harness the kinetic energy within the flow of water without using the conventional methods like water wheel or other types of turbines. With some changes this can be a source of producing clean energy from tidal waves.


Tidal power issues:


Tidal power can have effects on marine life. The turbines can accidentally kill swimming sea life with the rotating blades. Some fish may no longer utilize the area if they were threatened with a constant rotating object.


Salt water causes corrosion in metal parts. It can be difficult to maintain tidal stream generators due to their size and depth in the water. Mechanical fluids, such as lubricants, can leak out, which may be harmful to the marine life nearby. Proper maintenance can minimize the amount of harmful chemicals that may enter the environment.


The first study of large scale tidal power plants was by the US Federal Power Commission in 1924 which would have been located if built in the northern border area of the US state of Maine and the south eastern border area of the Canadian province of New Brunswick, with various dams, powerhouses and ship locks enclosing the Bay of Fundy and Passamaquoddy Bay (note: see map
in reference). Nothing came of the study and it is unknown whether Canada had been approached about the study by the US Federal Power Commission.

There was also a report on the international commission in April 1961 entitled ” Investigation of the International Passamaquoddy Tidal Power Project” produced by both the US and Canadian Federal Governments. According to benefit to costs ratios, the project was beneficial to the US but not to Canada. A highway system along the top of the dams was envisioned as well.

A study was commissioned by the Canadian, Nova Scotian and New Brunswick Governments (Reassessment of Fundy Tidal Power) to determine the potential for tidal barrages at Chignecto Bay and Minas Basin – at the end of the Fundy Bay estuary. There were three sites determined to be financially feasible: Shepody Bay (1550 MW), Cumberline Basin (1085 MW) and Cobequid Bay (3800 MW). These were never built despite their apparent feasibility in 1977.



Dorf, Richard (1981). The Energy Factbook

Evans, Robert (2007). Fueling Our Future: An Introduction to Sustainable Energy

Chang, Jen (2008), Hydrodynamic Modeling and Feasibility


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