Simplified site-screening method for micro tidal current turbines applied in Mozambique
Journal article, 2012
A variety of tidal current turbines (TCT) are emerging, the majority focussing on large-scale extraction of
renewable energy at global tidal hot-spots. Concurrently, some turbines are small and may be suitable also for micro-scale applications (micro-TCT) in remote areas, such as decentralized electrification in countries where fuel-independent energy systems with high power predictability are particularly important. In shallow waters the force of tidal currents varies considerably over short distances and very site-specific measurements are important for assessment of localization, but are also expensive. For micro-TCT to be of interest site-screening and evaluation must be inexpensive, and low-cost methods are thus required. This study proposes a simplified tidal model that is calibrated to site-specific conditions by short-term observations using lightweight equipment. By measurements comprising down to 8% of the
monthly tidal period the potential power output can be estimated, with uncertainty intervals up to +-20%, for currents applicable for micro-TCT. This site-screening method was tested at five sites in Mozambique where near-shore tidal currents were measured with lightweight current meters. At three of the sites, currents were estimated to exceed 1 m s-1 and power output was calculated based on technical assumptions for a micro-TCT device. Results are discussed from the perspective of micro-TCT development and decentralized remote area electrification.
Decentralized power production