Taking tidal energy research in the Bay of Fundy to the next level

Richard Karsten
July 25, 2019 1:00pm – 2:00pm ADT

Dr. Richard Karsten, Acadia University

The potential economic benefits of commercial-scale tidal energy in Canada’s Bay of Fundy are substantial but past development of projects has been slow. Decisions regarding development and regulation of the tidal energy industry are hindered by knowledge gaps in scientific evidence. To address these gaps, our team of top Atlantic Canada researchers has obtained funding from CFI for cutting-edge infrastructure and from OERA for support of early career scientists.

The project addresses two major challenges facing tidal energy development: the impact of the environment on turbines and the impact of turbines on the environment. Both require advanced infrastructure that will quantify the high-flow environment of tidal passages, detect marine mammal presence, track fish and monitor turbine noise. Both challenges require substantial computing infrastructure to conduct high-resolution simulations and to analyze large quantities of data.

This presentation will provide a review of the project’s first year and resulting research projects. It will describe field campaigns completed to date and initial results, and it will give an overview of how the new computing systems will be used to simulate tidal flow and turbine operation. Finally, it will describe the ongoing, developing opportunities for collaboration with other stakeholders in the tidal energy industry.