Tidal current power for Indonesia? An initial resource estimation for the Alas Strait

L.S. Blunden, A.S. Bahaj, N.S. Aziz – Renewable Energy, January 2013


Indonesia – with its many narrow straits and significant tidal range – might be expected to have considerable potential for tidal current power generation. A particularly promising site is the Alas Strait, with shallow depth, high tidal current velocity and location far from major shipping lanes. In this study, a hydrodynamic numerical model of the Alas Strait was run and validated against some tidal current velocity measurements. The results of the model were then used to estimate the practically exploitable energy resources in the strait, using a development of a method used in previous resource estimations. In this method, the incident velocity on each row of an array was extracted from the model and then attenuated based on the direction of the flow and the number of rows deep into the array. In this way, the effects of practical array shape can be simulated without the need to include computationally expensive parameterization of turbines in the model. Two scenarios were considered, with and without a maximum depth limitation of 40 m. The first scenario gave an estimate of the practically exploitable annual energy yield from the Alas Strait of 330 GW h with the second scenario nearly double at 640 GW h.



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