SCORE project moves forward to tidal arrays modeling

University of Algarve’s Marine Offshore Renewable Energy (MORE) team has finished data capturing with Evopod E1 tidal unit conducted in Portugal as part of the SCORE project.

The Evopod E1 unit, leased from the UK-based tidal energy developer Oceanflow Energy, has been retrieved on November 21, 2017, to the University of Algarve campus.

The SCORE project team also informed it started performing model simulations using different hydrodynamic settings and number of units following the conclusion of data gathering activities.

The simulations aim to evaluate the impacts that energy extraction will have on the temporal and spatial changes of the flow, on sediment transport patterns and, ultimately, on the habitat, and to develop cost benefit analysis balancing supply and demand using tidal energy.

The general objective of SCORE project is to examine the deployment of a small-scale tidal current turbine, the Evopod E1, in a shallow-water estuarine environment. The project will look at both the impacts of the turbine on its environment and the effects of the flow conditions on the turbine.

Since the project relates to the sustainability of producing electric energy Formosa currents, team members are focused on the cost benefit analysis using the Culatra Island’s energy demands, it is stated in the report.

The task aims to propose instruments, measures and guidelines that will support the future installation of TEC devices enhancing high levels of environmental protection, adapted to real socio-economic scenarios to define optimum approaches to future tidal energy extraction on coastal estuaries.

The SCORE team said the techno-economic assessment will be produced, offering guidelines for TEC implementation projects on similar coastal lagoons and estuarine systems worldwide.

Also, a cost benefit analysis on extracting tidal energy from Ria Formosa and adjacent waters will be produced.

SCORE project team (Photo: MORE)

Since the project beginning in 2016, the SCORE team started to create a baseline marine geophysical, hydrodynamic and ecological database for the pilot site, located at Ria Formosa, a coastal lagoon in the south of Portugal, to set-up and calibrate the hydro-morphodynamic platform.

The team performed detailed bathymetric surveys, deployed bottom mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs), and boat-mounted ADCP surveys to fully characterize the 3D flow pattern.

The marine biologists also collected ecological data from both the site of deployment and a control localization nearby, by mean of diving transects, remote operation vehicles footage and the use of bed sample collectors.

Ambient noise level prior and during device operation were also obtained, according to the project’s report, and a Delft3D model of the entire Ria Formosa has been set-up and calibrated.

Calibration tests were performed to match modelled and measured velocities obtained with a bottom-mounted ADCP, the team said.

Once the hydro-morphodynamic model is validated, the impacts of energy extraction on flow and sediment transport patterns can be simulated by enabling the sink/source momentum term to parameterize the extra loss of energy generated by a tidal energy converters (TEC) array in a subgrid-scale.

The Sustainability of using Ria Formosa Currents On Renewable Energy (SCORE) project officially began on April 1, 2016, and will run for 36 months.

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