High-resolution modeling of the Kuroshio current power south of Japan


Ocean current power near the Japanese coast was estimated using a high-resolution, three-dimensional ocean model. Two experiments were conducted to distinguish the impact of the Kuroshio large meander. The simulation results were validated by comparison with measurements. To choose the proper site for ocean current power generation experiment, we quantitatively analyzed the variation of the current field for three candidate areas: around the Tokara Strait, south of Cape Ashizuri (AS), and south of Cape Shionomisaki (SH). The results show that the current around the Tokara Strait is the weakest among the three candidates. The current south of SH is strongest for the non-large-meander period. The area south of AS is promising for ocean current power generation, because the current is stable and strong regardless of the large meander, and the average ocean current power density can reach 1 \(\hbox {kW/m}^{2}\).

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the effort of the ADCP measurements conducted by the Wakayama Prefectural Fisheries Experiment Station. The authors also thank Tohoku University for providing the SX-ACE vector supercomputers. This study is based on results obtained from a project “Research and Development of Marine Energy Technology (P07015)”, commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

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Correspondence to Tianran Liu.

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Liu, T., Wang, B., Hirose, N. et al. High-resolution modeling of the Kuroshio current power south of Japan. J. Ocean Eng. Mar. Energy 4, 37–55 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40722-017-0103-9

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  • High-resolution ocean modeling
  • Kuroshio
  • Large meander
  • Ocean current power