The flow through tidal passages is, by nature, extremely turbulent and this variability in flow speed affects the efficiency of energy extraction and the operational risks for in-stream turbines. The accurate measurement and numerical modeling of turbulence for these conditions will de-risk the design and development of tidal energy sites and reduce their cost of operation.
A collaborative Canadian - UK research project, In Situ Turbulence Replication Evaluation And Measurement (InSTREAM), has developed sensors and methods for use in planning the development of tidal energy sites.
The InSTREAM methodology enables translation between field and tank measurements, providing developers and manufacturers the ability to evaluate dynamic behaviour of sites and turbine designs at model and full scale.
This information will reduce uncertainty in site design, yield assessments, and device design, enabling access to funding and reducing the levelised cost of energy.
InSTREAM was part-funded by grant support from the Nova Scotia based Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) and InnovateUK. The project used data collected from three sites: (1) FloWave test tank at the University of Edinburgh; (2) European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney (3) Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) Minas Passage site.