HPC Wales Supercomputer Simulates Tidal Power Generation

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The School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University is using an HPC Wales supercomputer to model the long-term impact of site-choice for tidal power generation systems. Choosing sites for such generation plants, and their detailed design, requires a careful balance to be struck between how much energy is removed from the tidal flow and how this energy removal will impact the natural environment in the vicinity of the plant.

With the computing capability we currently have, we can only model the impact of a marine tidal turbine on the sea floor for a single lunar cycle, a period of about a month,” said Dr Simon Neill, who leads the modeling work in this area at Bangor University. “Over such a short timescale, the changes to the sea floor do not actually have a material impact on the tidal flows being modelled, and can be safely ignored. The lifetime of a marine generation plant is expected to be at least 25 years, and changes to the sea floor over this time period will potentially have a great impact on the actual tidal flows being modelled.”

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