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Offshore Tidal Power Generation—A New Approach to Power Conversion of the Oceans' Tides

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Offshore tidal power generation (“OTP”) is a new approach to tidal power conversion that resolves the environmental and economic problems of the familiar “tidal barrage” technology. OTP uses a rubble mound impoundment structure and low-head hydroelectric generating equipment situated a mile or more offshore in a high tidal range area. Shallow tidal flats provide the most economical sites. Multi-cell impoundment structures provide higher load factors (about 62%) and have the flexibility to shape the output curve in order to dispatch power in response to demand price signals. The tides are highly predictable and permit tidal power to fit comfortably into existing electricity distribution grids. The author describes a computer simulation program that uses equipment performance characteristics and tidal data to create a detailed simulation of generation output, water flows and storage, and is used for design optimization. The article also contains a history of tidal power and discussion of tidal power's place in the renewables market.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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