Resolving Spatial Resource Gradients at Tidal Energy Sites


MT Palodichuk University of Washington Master’s Thesis – 2012

Abstract
Station-keeping, a vessel-based spatial surveying method for resolving details of the hydrokinetic resource, is presented in the context of the general methodology and also for the specific case of a survey conducted in northern Admiralty Inlet, Puget Sound, WA (USA) in June 2011. The acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) measurements collected during the June 2011 survey were part of a broader effort to characterize the resource at this location prior to tidal turbine installation. Autonomous bottom-lander (bottom-mounted) ADCP measurements are used to evaluate the accuracy with which data collected from this vessel-based survey reflect stationary measurements and also to analyze the potential for cycle-to-cycle variations in the conclusions drawn. Results indicate good agreement between shipboard and bottom-mounted observations in capturing spatial resource gradients. Repeated surveys over several tidal cycles are required to obtain results consistent with long-term observations. Station-keeping surveys help to optimize bottom-mounted ADCP deployments that are then used to estimate turbine power generation potential and make siting decisions.

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