The main function of a marine renewable energy device is to remove energy from a marine environment and transform it into (generally) electrical energy for further use. This has potential for environmental benefits in the form of reducing global carbon emissions, but also has the potential for impact on the local ecology.
Using computer models and simulations to design and develop devices is not a new or uncommon idea, but this use is often concentrated on the mechanics of a design and its interaction with the physical environment. A simulation framework has been developed in an attempt to mimic the movement of marine mammals in a tidal environment, specifically looking at the potential interaction between tidal stream turbines and harbour porpoise.
Following from the basic rules and principles presented previously, a set of simulations have been conducted based on a tidal model of Ramsey Sound - a tidal channel off the south western tip of Wales. Four different simulations are examined, based on combinations of the behavioural influences incorporated into the model - food and noise. This allows the potential interactions between these factors to be examined, as well as how changes in these results might appear in real observational data.