This research focuses on proposing and evaluating an optimized hybrid system of wind and tidal turbines operating as a renewable energy generating unit in New Zealand. Literature review indicates increasing worldwide investment in offshore renewable energy in recent years. Offshore energy shows a high potential as an alternative energy generation solution to that of fossil fuels. Using the capacities of wind and tidal power in renewable technologies would be a suitable alternative for fossil fuels and would help prevent their detrimental effects on the environment. It is a cost-effective procedure for the power generation sector to maximize these renewables as a hybrid system. At the design phase, turbine types appropriate to environmental conditions for an area with high wind speed and tidal flow need to be considered. When selecting which turbines should be used, horizontal or vertical axis, number and length of blades, and optimized rotational speed are all important to get maximum capacity from either the wind or tidal energy for the hybrid system. Comprehensive simulation models of the hybrid system are now being set up, using several available commercial software packages such as QBlade, Simulink, and RETScreen. Several different parameters will be required for these simulation models to run in order to test performance, capacity and efficiency of the proposed hybrid system. To decide which regions are suitable for the hybrid system, it will be necessary to analyze available wind and tide records from NIWA, and online databases such as GLOBAL ATLAS. This next phase of research will aim to create optimized scenarios for the hybrid model by considering the effect of wind and water speed on performance. After deciding which region and scenarios are suitable, it will also be necessary to evaluate the costs and returns of a hybrid system. This final phase will be performed using the RETScreen simulation model.
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