On the potential of linked-basin tidal power plants: an operational and coastal modelling assessment

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Athanasios Angeloudis, Stephan C. Kramer, Noah Hawkins, Matthew Piggott


Single-basin tidal range power plants have the advantage of predictable energy outputs, but feature non-generation periods in every tidal cycle. Linked-basin tidal power systems can reduce this variability and consistently generate power. However, as a concept the latter are under-studied with limited information on their performance relative to single-basin designs. In addressing this, we outline the basic principles of linked-basin power plant operation and report results from their numerical simulation. Tidal range energy operational models are applied to gauge their capabilities relative to conventional, single-basin tidal power plants. A coastal ocean model (Thetis) is then refined with linked-basin modelling capabilities. Simulations demonstrate that linked-basin systems can reduce non-generation periods at the expense of the extractable energy output relative to conventional tidal lagoons and barrages. As an example, a hypothetical case is considered for a site in the Severn Estuary, UK. The linked-basin system is seen to generate energy 80-100% of the time over a spring-neap cycle, but harnesses at best ~30% of the energy of an equivalent-area single-basin design.




Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computational Engineering, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering, Oceanography, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Renewable Energy


Published: 2020-02-02 10:44

Last Updated: 2020-03-10 11:18

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GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

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