Tidal Energy Resource Measurements

  • Jim Thomson
  • Brian Polagye
  • Vincent S. Neary


When conducting tidal energy resource characterization and assessment, it is important to capture the strong variations of tidal currents in time and space. Field measurements can quantify many of these variations, which have both deterministic and stochastic components. The deterministic components occur on timescales of hours to years. As such, they are repeatable and well-suited to harmonic analyses associated with astronomical tidal forcing. The stochastic components are well-suited to statistical descriptions of fluid turbulence , from the short scales (milliseconds and millimeters), where dissipation occurs, to the long scales (seconds and meters), where large eddies occur. While the resolution of deterministic components may be adequate for characterizing annual energy production, both components need to be quantified to determine design loads on tidal energy conversion devices. In addition to the direct utility of field measurements to characterize and assess the tidal energy resource, field measurements are also essential to validate computational models used to assess the resource over large spatial domains.


Tidal currents Turbulence Harmonic analysis Asymmetry Site characterization 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Physics Laboratory and Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA

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