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Open AccessArticle

Techno-Economic Modelling of Tidal Energy Converter Arrays in the Tacoma Narrows

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Data Only Greater, Maynooth W23 E8C6, Ireland
2
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(9), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8090646
Received: 27 July 2020 / Revised: 14 August 2020 / Accepted: 17 August 2020 / Published: 22 August 2020
Hydrokinetic tidal energy converter (TEC) technology is yet to become cost competitive with other renewable energy sources. Understanding the interaction between energy production and the costs incurred harvesting that energy may unlock the economic potential of this technology. Although hydrodynamic simulation of TEC arrays has matured over time, including demonstration of how small and large arrays affect the resource, integration of cost modelling is often limited. The advanced ocean energy array techno-economic modelling tool ‘DTOcean’ enables designers to calculate and improve the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) of an array through parametric simulation of the energy extraction, design of the electrical network, moorings and foundations, and simulation of the installation and lifetime operations and maintenance of the array. This work presents a verification of DTOcean’s ability to simulate the techno-economic performance of TEC arrays by reproducing the hypothetical RM1 reference model, a semi-analytical model of a TEC array based in the Tacoma Narrows of Washington state, U.S.A. It is demonstrated that DTOcean can produce a reasonable estimate to the LCOE predicted by the reference model, giving (in Euro cents per kiloWatt hour) 36.69 ¢/kWh against the reference model’s 34.612 ¢/kWh for 10 TECs, while for 50 TECs, DTOcean calculated 20.34 ¢/kWh compared to 17.34 ¢/kWh for the reference model. View Full-Text
Keywords: tidal energy converter; arrays; LCOE; hydrodynamics; economics; renewable energy; software; verification; DTOcean; open source tidal energy converter; arrays; LCOE; hydrodynamics; economics; renewable energy; software; verification; DTOcean; open source
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Topper, M.B.R.; Olson, S.S.; Roberts, J.D. Techno-Economic Modelling of Tidal Energy Converter Arrays in the Tacoma Narrows. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8, 646.

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