Determining the potential for tidal power in the Bay of Fundy and optimizing turbine placement
LE3 .A278 2009
Bachelor of Science
Mathematics and Statistics
Mathematics & Statistics
There exist large tidal currents in the Minas Passage making it an ideal location for electrical power generation. We were able to model the tides using a finitevolume numerical model to quantify the potential for tidal power using in-stream turbines. Turbines were simulated by increasing the drag in the Minas Passage and suggest that up to 6.9 GW of power could be extracted. Removing this amount of power would decrease the tidal amplitudes within the Minas Basin by approximately 30% and increase the tidal amplitudes along the coast of Maine and Massachussetts by 15%. There would likely be serious environmental damage resulting from this change. Simulations indicate, however, that extracting 2.5 GW of power would create a change less than 6% throughout the region and still, according to Nova Scotia Power, provide enough energy to power 800,000 homes. Due to the added cost of each additional turbine, optimization schemes were implemented in attempts to find the optimal arrangement of turbines which would maximize power output and minimize the number of turbines required. In theory, maximum power can be achieved when the turbines are arranged into a fence spanning the entire cross section having all of the flow pass through them. Theoretically, this power output should be constant regardless of the location of the turbine fence. Simulations using a wide fence of turbines spanning the cross section of the Minas Passage, found that 6.6 GW of power could be generated with an efficiency of 0.7 kW/m2, where the area is the cross sectional area of the turbines. For the suggested power of 2.5 GW, the best solution was a fence in the same location as the aforementioned, however, less dense. The efficiency of the thin fence was 0.8 kW/m2, approximately twice as efficient as a single isolated turbine.
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