Tidal Energy Modelling Tool Helps Identify Most Efficient Sites
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and HR Wallingford are launching a tidal energy modelling tool for use by tidal energy developers to identify the most efficient sites for tidal energy converters, tidal arrays or tidal barrage schemes around the UK and French coastlines.
The computer programme – SMARTtide (Simulated Marine Array Resource Testing) – incorporates a 2D hydrodynamic model of the UK’s continental shelf and the north-west European coastline. The software will be available to the public from 21 May as a fee-for-service via a portal on HR Wallingford’s website: http://hrwallingford.com/projects/SMARTtide
The data that supports SMARTtide is the result of an earlier £450,000 project commissioned and funded by the ETI, which was led by Black & Veatch, in collaboration with HR Wallingford and the University of Edinburgh. That project improved the understanding of the possible interactions between tidal energy extraction systems as they are deployed between now and 2050.
The modelling tool calculates how energy extraction at one site may affect the energy available elsewhere. It also identifies how interactions between different sites around the UK combine to form an overall effect and critically considers what constraints these interactions will place on the design, development and location of future energy systems. The service allows modellers to create their own input specifications for a site and then the model is run on their behalf without the need for investment in expensive computers, bespoke model design costs and bathymetry (detail of water depth and seabed topography taken by detailed survey) data licence costs.