||Launched in October 2011 this project involved Black & Veatch, in collaboration with HR Wallingford and the University of Edinburgh to develop a model of the UK Continental Shelf and North European Waters, 100 times more accurate than existing marine data. This has been used to assess the tidal energy potential around the UK (tidal range and tidal streams), to inform the design of energy harnessing schemes, to assess their interactions, and to evaluate their impact on European coasts. It can also be used to renew and inform flood defences, coastal erosion and aggregate extraction. Now completed, the project has been launched to market under the brand of SMARTtide. This is available to the marine industry under licence from HR Wallingford.
As more of the UK tidal resource is extracted by some combination of tidal stream and tidal range technologies in the future, the interactions between distant installations may become more significant. The aim of this Project is to develop a set of assessment tools to allow an examination of these interactions, and to conduct an initial analysis of them.
The key deliverable is a hydrodynamic numerical model of the UK Continental Shelf (the CSM) that can be used to simulate combinations of tidal range (i.e. barrage, lagoon and fence) and tidal stream systems in UK waters for the purpose of estimating combined hydrodynamic effects and energy outputs.
The Project has now delivered an analysis of the interactions under various different build out scenarios from 2020 to 2050.
The aim of the TRM scope of work has been to address the following three fundamental questions:
- How will the impacts of tidal range and tidal current energy schemes positioned around the UK combine to form an overall effect?
-- Optimisation for environmental/human impact, energy output, economics or power smoothing is needed if the overall tidal resource is to be exploited to its full potential.
- Will the extraction of tidal energy resources in one area affect the tidal energy resources at distant sites around the UK and Europe?
-- The CSM scenario run outputs give a clear indication as to the impact at far-field UK sites. The impacts across Europe vary depending on the scenario but the most extreme case of both tidal range and tidal current deployment, shows that there would be an impact on the European coastline.
- What constraints might these interactions place on the design, development and location of future systems?
-- The interactions within and between schemes shows that the level of tidal range deployment (for near-field and far-field effects) and tidal current deployment (mainly near-field to regional impacts) would place constraints on the schemes. Both effects could potentially impact the success of projects. Importantly, the installation of later schemes could have an impact (positive or negative) on an existing scheme or its effects.