Tidal energy

Tidal energy has the potential to make an important contribution to the global sustainable energy goals (SDG 7). Deltares supports project developers, turbine manufacturers, investors and government agencies in the design, construction, management and maintenance of tidal power stations. Developers and engineers can utilise our research to save money and minimise risks. In addition, government agencies and stakeholders can use our impact analyses and environmental studies to get tidal power stations accepted by their surroundings.

Optimisation of energy generation and minimisation of costs and environmental effects

Tidal energy is a reliable and sustainable form of energy, which is always present and more predictable than wind or solar power energy. Our expertise and tools in the fields of flow, waves, morphology and ecological impact help to optimise energy generation and minimise the costs and environmental effects. This will make tidal energy a competitive energy source in the future.

International experience with large-scale and local flow near turbines

In the Swansea Bay Tidal lagoon project and the Dutch Energising Deltas research programme, Deltares has gained experience with a wide variety of topics. It involved translating the knowledge of large-scale effects like flow, sediment and ecological changes to the consequences of local flow near turbines. This knowledge and experience are very important to exploit the maximum output of the turbines.

Efficiency in design, construction and management of tidal power stations

Together with the client, we assess the effects on the environment. To realise an optimal inflow and outflow and increase the efficiency of the station, it is crucial to involve the turbine manufacturer in the research. We employ our knowledge and experience for:

  • Assessing and optimising local flow near the turbine with numerical and physical facilities
  • Estimating the ecological and morphological effects for an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment)
  • Preventing scouring and erosion near the turbine constructions
  • Preparing ecological impact studies for a fish-friendly design of the tidal turbines and marine life
  • Employing operational predictive systems for controlling the turbines
  • Testing new concepts

Modeltests in Atlantic basin for Swansea Bay

To optimise the output of the tidal power stations, we employ a combination of different numerical models like:

  • Delft3D for large-scale effects of flow, sediment transport, morphology, waves, water quality and ecology
  • WANDA for optimisation of the energy output
  • StarCCM+ for detailed flows near the turbines
  • RTC-Tools, for real-time control optimisation
  • Delft-FEWS, for predictive system models