What is Tidal Power?
Tidal power is energy produced by the surge of ocean waters during the rise and fall of tides. It is a renewable source of energy, created by the predictable and powerful movement of tides as they move to and from the shoreline. Unlike wind or solar, tidal energy is predictable and reliable and a base load power of vast potential.
There are two tidal markets, Tidal Stream and Tidal Range. Tidal Stream targets kinetic energy, where the faster the water flows the more power is generated. A different market, Tidal Range harnesses a form of potential energy, where the flow of any velocity builds behind a barrier so that it gains high pressure. The kinetic energy of the flow is then converted into potential energy, which the turbines harvest.
Across these two markets, there are three methods to generate tidal energy: tidal streams, barrages, and tidal lagoons.
A tidal barrage is a large, low dam which causes water to spill over the top or through turbines. Barrages can be constructed across tidal rivers, bays, and estuaries. Turbines inside the barrage generate power similar to run-of-river installations. The barrage gates are open as the tide rises. At high tide, the barrage gates close, creating a pool, or tidal lagoon. The water is then released through the barrage's turbines, creating energy at a rate that can be controlled by engineers. The environmental impact of a barrage system can be quite significant with disruption to local flora and fauna.
A tidal lagoon is a body of ocean water that is partly enclosed by a natural or manmade barrier, such as an estuary. Unlike barrages, tidal lagoons can be constructed along the natural coastline and they can generate continuous power from the ebb and flow tides that fill and empty the lagoon. The environmental impact of tidal lagoons is minimal. They can be constructed with natural materials like rock and can be mostly submerged at high tide.
Tidal stream involves placing a turbines in a tidal stream, a fast-flowing body of water created by tides. They resemble underwater windmills. Most effective in shallow water, tidal stream technology is complex, because the machines are large and disrupt the tide they are trying to harness. The environmental impact could be severe, depending on the size of the turbine and the site of the tidal stream.
Tidal VETT Technology
VerdErg's innovative tidal VETT technology operates within the Tidal Range market, suitable for both tidal lagoon and tidal barrage applications. To find out more about our technology, click on the link below: