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OES-IA Guidance on Assessing Tidal Current Energy Resources

Date: October 07, 2013 at 19:24 GMT

This paper provides a synopsis of the guidance relating to the characterization and assessment of tidal current resources developed for the Implementing Agreement on Ocean Energy Systems of the International Energy Agency (OES-IA).

Following a concise review of the objectives and activities of the OES-IA, and a brief general discussion of the origin and nature of tides and tidal currents, the paper outlines the methods proposed to describe and assess the kinetic energy resource associated with tidal currents. In addition, important resource attributes such as turbulence, velocity gradients and wave effects are also identified and discussed.

The proposed methods can be used to help assess the scale of the energy resource at a site and the nature of its temporal fluctuations. Moreover, a simple method is described to estimate the scale and temporal fluctuations of the power that might be generated if an energy converter were to be installed at a site. Finally, a case study for a high-energy site in Minas Passage, a 5.5km wide by up to 160m deep channel in the upper Bay of Fundy, Canada, is presented to demonstrate the methods that are described. 


The OES is organised under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) but is functionally and legally autonomous. Views, findings and publications of the OES do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or its individual member countries.