A refined assessment of tidal currents variability is a prerequisite for successful turbine deployment in the marine environment. However, the numerical evaluation of the tidal kinetic energy resource relies, most of the time, on integrated parameters, such as the averaged or maximum stream powers. Predictions from a high resolution three-dimensional model are exploited here to characterize the asymmetry and misalignment between the flood and ebb tidal currents in the “Raz de Sein”, a strait off western Brittany (France) with strong potential for array development. A series of parameters is considered to assess resource variability and refine the cartography of local potential tidal stream energy sites. The strait is characterized by strong tidal flow divergence with currents’ asymmetry liable to vary output power by 60% over a tidal cycle. Pronounced misalignments over 20
are furthermore identified in a great part of energetic locations, and this may account for a deficit of the monthly averaged extractable energy by more than 12%. As sea space is limited for turbines, it is finally suggested to aggregate flood and ebb-dominant stream powers on both parts of the strait to output energy with reduced asymmetry.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited