Title page for ETD etd-09212008-134411

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Spurlock, Derek Scott
URN etd-09212008-134411
Title Modeling Flows for Assessing Tidal Energy Generation Potential
Degree Master of Engineering
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Diplas, Panayiotis Committee Chair
Cox, William E. Committee Member
Gutierrez, Marte S. Committee Member
  • tidal energy
  • east river
  • hydraulic model
Date of Defense 2008-09-12
Availability unrestricted
Tidal energy is a clean, sustainable, reliable, predictable source of energy. Recent developments in underwater turbines have made harvesting tidal energy feasible. Determining the power potential available in a given water body can be accomplished by using numerical hydraulic models to predict the flow velocity at a location of interest. The East River in Manhattan has been used here in an effort to develop a modeling methodology for assessing the power potential of a site. Two two-dimensional CFD models, FESWMS and TUFLOW, as well as one one-dimensional model, HEC-RAS, are used to analyze flows in the East River. Comparisons are made between the models and TUFLOW proves to best represent flows in the East River. HEC-RAS provides accurate results; however, the one-dimensional results lack the necessary detail of a two-dimensional model. FESWMS cannot produce results that mimic actual flow conditions in the East River. Using the TUFLOW model, power and energy estimates are made. These estimates show that a two-dimensional model, such as TUFLOW, can be a great tool for engineers and planners developing tidal energy projects. Using the results of this work, a methodology is developed to assess power potential at other sites using publicly available data.
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