Modeling tidal stream energy extraction and its effects on transport processes in a tidal channel and bay system using a three-dimensional coastal ocean model

Z Yang, T Wang, AE Copping – Renewable Energy, 2013


This paper presents a numerical modeling study for simulating in-stream tidalenergy extraction and assessing its effects on the hydrodynamics and transport processes in a tidal channel and bay system connecting to coastal ocean. A marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) module was implemented in a three-dimensional (3-D) coastal ocean model using the momentum sink approach. The MHK model was validated with the analytical solutions for tidal channels under one-dimensional (1-D) conditions. Model simulations were further carried out to compare the momentum sink approach with the quadratic bottom friction approach. The effects of 3-D simulations on the vertical velocity profile, maximum extractable energy, and volume flux reduction across the channel were investigated through a series of numerical experiments. 3-D model results indicate that the volume flux reduction at the maximum extractable power predicted by the 1-D analytical model or two-dimensional (2-D) depth-averaged numerical model may be overestimated. Maximum extractable energy strongly depends on the turbine hub height in the water column, which reaches a maximum when turbine hub height is located at mid-water depth. Far-field effects of tidal turbines on the flushing time of the tidal bay were also investigated. Model results demonstrate that tidal energy extraction has a greater effect on the flushing time than volume flux reduction, which could negatively affect the bio-geochemical processes in estuarine and coastal waters that support primary productivity and higher forms of marine life.



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