The DOE and Georgia Institute of Technology offer a new database highlighting the energy potential available in the U.S. from ocean tides. This online database is an important step towards providing information that can improve the performance, lower the costs, and accelerate the deployment of innovative water power technologies.
The national database details the potential extractable energy from the nation’s tidal streams – high velocity ocean currents created by the horizontal movement of tides. Tidal power devices can be deployed to convert the energy in tides to electricity.
Researchers at Georgia Tech Savannah used advanced regional ocean models to simulate tidal flows along the entire U.S. coastline. DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory validated the model’s accuracy and the resulting data are now publicly available at the website developed by the Georgia Tech: www.tidalstreampower.gatech.edu .
The interactive database allows users to zoom and pan over maps of color-coded information on water depth, mean current speed, and mean kinetic power density for tidal resources along the coasts. Users can produce maps on depth and power density using the database’s geographic information system tools. Users can also select specific locations to build velocity and power density histograms, which are displayed as easy-to-read charts and graphs.