The green power of blue : a feasibility study for micro tidal generators in the Bay of Fundy

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University of New Brunswick


By harnessing the power of the tides, a virtually unlimited power supply could be attained; the challenge is to do so in an environmentally responsible manner. The purpose of this report was to come up with a recommendation as to how tidal power could feasibly be implemented on a private basis on Canada's east coast. The use of "micro" tidal generators is a fairly recent undertaking, and a number of companies have released products. This report focused on the Gorlov Helical Turbine for free current flows. Based on the Darrieus style of wind turbines, the Gorlov Helical Turbine (GHT) boasts a 35% efficiency in water, and does not have the stability issues associated with the Darrieus turbines. Essentially a raft with a turbine mounted beneath it, the units can be anchored off shore to provide consistent power, with minimal outages during slack tide events. By investigating these slack tide events, a recommendation for such periods can be made. Through an investigation o f the properties of the GHT, and the hydrodynamic properties of the region, an idea of the costs associated for an average homeowner to install and run such a facility were found. To install and run a 30kW private facility in the Minas Basin, the overall cost per kilowatt-hour is roughly $0.05. Since prices for these modules decrease as their numbers increase, the costs associated with a commercial facility drop down to around $0.01 per kilowatt-hour and could thus be determined feasible.