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Brief Overview of Tidal Energy


We may complain about the weather in the UK, but there is one major advantage to living on our blustery beaches. Not only can we take advantage of wind power because we are Europe’s windiest country, but we can also harness the energy of our tides.

Tidal power is a renewable energy monster on the horizon. Read more below to get a complete overview of tidal energy.

Tidal Energy

Tidal energy, often known as tidal power, is the energy generated by the sea’s tides. It uses technology to capture one of Earth’s natural energy sources, similar to other forms of renewable energy such as wind and sun.

In this case, the waves’ power is captured by barrages or lagoons. That energy is then utilized to generate electricity, which is then transferred to the grid and your home!

The Romans were the first to think of employing tidal power to turn wheels and mill grains. In the 1960s, France erected the world’s first barrage designed to absorb tidal energy and create electricity.

However, with the government forecasting that tidal energy can meet 20% of the UK’s energy needs, it is projected to grow in popularity in the future years.

Working Methodologies of Tidal Energy

During both the rise and fall of the tide, the natural surge of ocean water generates electricity. We have four chances to harness that energy every day because it happens twice daily. What are the methods for harnessing it? There are three main approaches:

Tidal Streams

Tidal streams produce the majority of tidal energy. The tide creates a fast-moving current known as a tidal stream. Turbines are installed on the ocean floor to harness the energy. Turbines are similar to wheels or rotors with blades that are propelled around by water flow. They work in the same way that wind turbines do.

Because these turbines are usually quite large, placing them on the ocean floor might be tricky. In fact, their size can disrupt the tides, defeating the point of putting them down there. They can also potentially have an impact on marine life and ships.

Tidal Barrages

A tidal barrage is a giant dam built in the ocean to harness tidal energy. Inside the dam, water travels through tunnels. The tide propels the turbines buried inside these tunnels as it comes in and out.

Barrages, like tidal streams, can significantly impact the ecology since they isolate an area from the rest of the ocean. Fish and other sea life, as well as sewage, could be trapped.

Tidal Lagoons

The function of tidal lagoons is similar to that of barrages. They can also collect a portion of the ocean inside an artificial structure and use it to power turbines. As the lagoon fills with water and then empties, the turbines rotate.

Lagoons are built in a somewhat different way than barrages. A barrage, like a dam, cuts across an estuary in a straight line. On the other hand, a tidal lagoon is frequently built along the natural coastline and can be designed to have minimal influence on local fauna.

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