Numerical Modeling of Tidal Currents and the Effects of Power Extraction on Estuarine Hydrodynamics Along the Georgia Coast, USA

Journal Article

Title: Numerical Modeling of Tidal Currents and the Effects of Power Extraction on Estuarine Hydrodynamics Along the Georgia Coast, USA
Publication Date:
December 01, 2011
Journal: Renewable Energy
Volume: 36
Pages: 1-11
Publisher: Elsevier
Stressor:
Technology Type:

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Defne, Z.; Haas, K.; Fritz, H. (2011). Numerical Modeling of Tidal Currents and the Effects of Power Extraction on Estuarine Hydrodynamics Along the Georgia Coast, USA. Renewable Energy, 36, 1-11.
Abstract: 

The tidal stream power potential along the coast of the state of Georgia is evaluated based on numerical modeling and validated with the available data. The Georgia coast consists of a complex network of tidal rivers and inlets between barrier islands that funnel and locally amplify the strength of the ambient tidal currents in the region. The number of existing tidal current prediction locations is not sufficient to resolve the temporal and spatial changes in the current speeds and patterns. Therefore, the currents are modeled with the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) to determine the locations with high tidal stream power potential and the results are validated against measurements. The wetlands and the topographical features are integrated in the computational model with wetting and drying of computational cells. The locations with the largest mean tidal stream power density are identified and their characteristics are provided. The effect of power extraction on estuarine hydrodynamics is simulated by implementing an additional retarding force in the governing momentum equations in ROMS. Two different power extraction schemes are simulated at the Canoochee River. The first scheme involves extracting 20% of the original kinetic power across the entire cross-section of the river, and is found to have substantially lower impact on the original flow than the second scheme with 45% extraction. The summation of removed and residual kinetic powers is found to be larger than the original kinetic power in the cross-section, which is attributed to the recovery in the flow momentum through reorganization of stream flow energy. In both of the cases the major impact on the currents is limited to a partial reach of the river. The change in the maximum and minimum water levels is observed to be on the order of centimeters.

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