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Tidal Power

case Study, Physics (including Earth and space sciences
ocean power for caome

Project description
1. Check out the Wikipedia article on Tidal Power.


Read the section on Tidal Stream Generators. Make a list of the tidal current power generators and prototypes mentioned in the article.

2. Follow the link to SeaGen found in the caption to the photo of a tidal current blade. Write a brief description of the SeaGen tidal stream generator in Strangford Lough, including its power generating capacity.

3. List three significant considerations in siting a tidal current power generating facility. Would you be in favor of a tidal current generating facility between Buzzard’s Bay and the Cape Cod Island of Marthas Vineyard? Explain your answer.

4. Bonus: Power from tidal Current. (Note: This problem has been modified. The equation for tidal current power is included in the problem itself.)

Tidal current energy is the kinetic energy of water in motion. Total tidal current energy flowing through an imaginary area A during the time t is:E = fracmv^2 = frac(Avtrho)v^2 = fracAtrho v^3,
where is the water density; v is the current speed; Avt is the volume of water passing through A (which is considered perpendicular to the direction of the current); Avt is therefore the mass m passing per unit time.

Power is energy per unit time, so the tidal current power incident on A (e.g. equal to the rotor area of a water turbine) is:

P = frac{t} = fracArho v^3.
As with wind power, the power in an open water stream is thus proportional to the third power of the water speed; the available power increases eightfold when the wind speed doubles.

Use the above equation for the power P, to determine the power output of one turbine operating under the following conditions: Suppose the average tidal current velocity is 5.0 m/s and the turbine blades are 15 meters in length. (That means that the blades sweep out a circular area with a radius of 15 meters.) The density of seawater is approximately 1025 kg per cubic meter. Finally, suppose the coefficient of performance is 0.59, the maximum amount allowed by Betzs law. (Betzs theoretical result, studied when we considered wind power, states that the maximum energy that can be extracted by the turbine blades is approximately 59% of the available kinetic energy.) Use this information to calculate the power output of the turbine.


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