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Transcript of Tidal Energy
What is tidal energy?
Tidal energy generates electricity by capturing the energy contained in moving water caused by tides.
Tidal Fences & Turbines
Tidal fences are turbines that operate like giant turnstiles. Tidal turbines are similar to wind turbines. Electricity is generated when the turbines are turned by the tidal currents.
Tidal energy could in fact provide up to 20% of the UK's power if gathered and employed efficiently. Newer technology and a fuller, more systematic understanding of estuaries and streams has put tidal energy in a position to become one of the most reliable forms of renewable energy- notably more reliable than wind energy.
The future of tidal energy is hinged on the costs involved. However, the costs are coming down due to scientist's shift toward more efficient underwater turbines and revamped logistics.
How it works
Can be captured in two ways
Tidal Barrage (dam)
The barrage is built across an estuary (the tidal mouth of a large river, where the tide meets the stream) that captures the potential energy generated by the change in height between high and low tides.
As the tide goes in and out, the water flows through tunnels in the dam.
The ebb and flow are used to either turn a turbine or compress air through a pipe that then turns a turbine, which generates electricity.
the frames of the turbines could lead to disruption in movement of large marine animals and ships through the channels on which the barrage is built
construction of tidal power plant can also disrupt fish migration in the oceans, and even kill fish population when passing through the turbines
There are currently two commercial-sized tidal power plants operating in the world (France & Nova Scotia) and a third experimental plant operating in Russia.
France, England, Canada, and Russia have the most potential to use this type of energy.
The first tidal power plant was constructed in 2007 in Northern Ireland.
Capacity to Produce Power
Tidal energy has an efficiency of 80% in converting the potential energy of the water into electricity. They can only generate when the tide is flowing in and out, which means they can only generate 10 hours a day.
The tide moves a huge amount of water twice each day and although the tidal energy supply is reliable and plentiful, converting in into useful electrical power is not easy. The technology required to harness tidal energy is well established, however, tidal power is expensive.
High cost effects on ecosystem
Regional limitations time limitations
Pros and Cons
Needs no fuel
No greenhouse gases
Not expensive to maintain
Reliable & predictable
Only a few suitable sites for barrages
Barrage across an estuary is expensive to build and effects a very wide area. The environment is changed for many miles, upstream and downstream. Many birds rely on the tide uncovering the mud flats so they can feed, fish can't migrate unless "fish ladders" are built