With a worldwide potential of more than 150 GW, tidal flows provide a consistent source of kinetic energy as a result of the interaction between the gravitational forces of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. Tidal energy technologies have the advantage of being highly predictable and could therefore provide a stable output to the grid, compared to other ocean energy technologies and renewable energy sources.
With the first full scale prototypes already operating under water, it is expected that some of these technologies will move towards pre-commercial and commercial arrays in the coming ten years.
The main tidal current technologies can be classified according to their operational principle:
The Delft University of Technology is involved in different aspects of Tidal energy research. In collaboration with industry partners, a common goal towards the realisation of ocean energy is based on the development of new and existing technologies.
Some of the current research activities at the TU Delft include:
- Numerical modelling of horizontal axis turbines hydrodynamics
- Robust control of floating tidal energy converters
- Physics-based modelling of soil-structure interaction
- Effects of the placement of turbines in openings of the Eastern Scheldt barrier