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Improving assessments of tidal power potential using grid refinement in the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport model
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Tidal currents are a promising source for future power generation given their periodicity and predictability. Therefore, numerical hydrodynamic models are frequently utilized for resource assessments. However, the relevant scales of the simulations and hence modeling techniques depend on the problem at hand. This paper shows the potential of the grid refinement technique for the assessment of tidal current
energy for particular sites given its relatively low computational expense and high accuracy for the regions with the refined resolution. Example applications are described for mapping the tidal resources near two facilities (Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine and Key West Naval Station in Florida) for possible future deployments of Marine Hydro-Kinetic technologies. The grid refinement capability in the coupled ocean-atmosphere-wave-sediment transport modeling system is used to improve the spatial resolution in the regions of interest, and has shown significant advantage over the original simulation results for the tidal power assessment. The numerical simulation results from both the original coarse grids and the refined grids are validated with measured tidal constituents at available locations. This study demonstrates how the enhancement of a model system for a regional tidal energy with grid refinement can assist with the performance of site specific resource assessments with modest computational expense.
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