The predictability of tidal currents in the context of hydrokinetic power generation are assessed using current data from a series of surveys in Admiralty Inlet, Puget Sound, Washington, USA. Both current speed and kinetic power density are shown to be well-described by harmonic analysis. Three challenges to predictability are identified. First, non-sinusoidal fluctuations over time scales on the order of hours are observed but cannot be replicated by conventional harmonic analysis. Second, turbulent fluctuations over time scales on the order of seconds are relatively large and inherently unpredictable. Third, for this site, predictions may not be extrapolated more than 100 m from the location of measurement. While none of these issues are insurmountable, they contribute to a degree of unpredictability for tidal hydrokinetic power.
Limits to the Predictability of Tidal Current Energy
Title: Limits to the Predictability of Tidal Current Energy
September 23, 2010
Conference Name: Oceans 2010
Conference Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Polagye, B.; Epler, J.; Thomson, J. (2010). Limits to the Predictability of Tidal Current Energy. Paper Presented at the Oceans 2010, Seattle, WA, USA.