The Tidal Irrigation and Electrical System

renewable energy, carbon dioxide sink, biodiesel, and food from the ocean


Martin on Apr 12th 2008

Although this represents the smallest of the potential ways to use a Tidal Irrigation and Electrical System to capture the energy available from a given area of ocean, it is the best understood by the general public. The flow of water through a turbine in a structure like a hydroelectric dam is the classic example of this form of electricity generation.

When this principle is attached to a tidal lagoon it is known as a tidal barrage. The tidal flow into and out of the lagoon means that the direction of the turbines needs to be reversed. There are a few of these power plants around the world and they function very well. However, hydro generates only about ten percent of the energy that can be generated by the flow of water through the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) subsystem. It remains to be seen whether the loss of tidal flow of deep ocean water (DOW) caused by the hydro turbines will reduce the efficiency of the OTEC subsystem to the point that it is not worth inclusion in the design.