What is tidal energy research with ADCPs and why is it useful?
Nortek’s ADCPs will help you establish a tidal energy station that optimizes production cost, and our ADCPs will help monitor the long-term efficiency of the energy converter.
Measurements of tidal currents are useful for researchers and engineers in three distinct phases of a tidal energy project:
In the early design phase: Tidal power plant structures are exposed to extreme and highly variable forces from tidal water currents. The combination of the physical force of water with the continued strain from currents and waves can result in damage to tidal energy installations. It is, therefore, important to measure the details of the flow regime in the early design stage of a project, to define the forces that will act on installations and to ensure that the structure will be both resilient and productive.
In the design phase, researchers and engineers need data from ADCPs to define spatial and temporal variations in currents and waves. This data is used to develop models that show the exact forces to which a tidal energy installation will be exposed, helping to determine whether the design concept is sound and able to produce the expected amount of energy.
For site surveys: The combination of numerical models and current measurements covering possible deployment locations helps define where tidal energy turbines should be placed to secure optimal energy production. A vessel-mounted ADCP that continuously measures the currents while moving to different locations within an area can help show where the energy converter should be deployed. With stationary ADCPs, measurements can be made at the exact position and height in the water column where they will operate. This helps researchers and engineers to calculate future energy production in a precise manner, and ensures turbines are deployed at the right spot and positioned in the best way possible.
During site surveys, researchers and engineers need data from current profilers to predict the tidal currents. This data is used to develop models that can estimate power production.
For operational monitoring: Tidal power plants should be monitored to secure continuous, optimal energy production. For example, it is important to make sure that the energy being produced is in line with the strength of incoming currents. Operators can monitor the tidal power plant’s performance, and take measures if specific turbines or other equipment have stopped functioning properly.
During operational monitoring, current data needs to be collected at a specific point in front of the tidal turbine (upstream), and it is common to use ADCPs that look horizontally out in front of the turbine (or other types of energy converters).