Modelling the Far Field Hydro-Environmental Impacts of Tidal Farms - A Focus on Tidal Regime, Intertidal Zones and Flushing

Journal Article

Title: Modelling the Far Field Hydro-Environmental Impacts of Tidal Farms - A Focus on Tidal Regime, Intertidal Zones and Flushing
Publication Date:
October 01, 2014
Journal: Computers & Geosciences
Volume: 71
Pages: 20-27
Publisher: Elsevier
Technology Type:

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Nash, S.; O'Brien, N.; Olbert, A.; Hartnett, M. (2014). Modelling the Far Field Hydro-Environmental Impacts of Tidal Farms - A Focus on Tidal Regime, Intertidal Zones and Flushing. Computers & Geosciences, 71, 20-27.
Abstract: 

The introduction of tidal stream turbines into water bodies can have an impact on the environment due to changes in the hydrodynamic flow fields resulting from the extraction of energy by the tidal turbines. Water levels, tidal currents and flushing characteristics could potentially be significantly altered with the introduction of tidal turbine farms, which could lead to possible loss of habitat and a change in the tidal regime. Therefore, planning of tidal turbines field deployments must take into account possible hydro-environmental impacts. This paper describes research undertaken by the authors in the Shannon Estuary to predict changes in the tidal regime and flushing characteristics, with the introduction of tidal turbine farms of different array configurations. The model was simulated using a 2D hydrodynamic model that was modified to incorporate the effects of tidal turbine fields. Water levels are shown to have been affected with the inclusion of turbines, especially in areas upstream of the turbine farm where inter-tidal zones could become predominately inundated resulting in loss of habitat in the estuary. Flushing parameters were also shown to be altered with the inclusion of turbines, with residence time shown to be increased, which could change pollutant transport in the region.

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