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I.N. Usachev,
Share -holding Company Institute Hydroproject, Moscow, Russia
Keywords: Tidal Energy, Tidal Power Plants, Energy of Ocean Tides, Tidal Power Plants,
Model of Tidal Energy Usage
1. Tidal Range
2 The Energy of Ocean Tides
3. Main Positive Features of Tidal Energy
4. Projects of TPP
5. Efficient Model of Tidal Energy Usage
6. Economical Methods of TPP Construction
7. Ecological Safety of TPP
8. First in the World Industrial TPP Rance in France
9. First in Russia Kislaya Guba TPP
10. Projects of Global TPP in Russia
11. Annapolis TPP and Projects of High-Capacity TPP in Fundy Gulf in Canada
12. Construction of TPP in China
13. TPP in Korea
14. Project of High-Capacity TPP Severn in England
15. Role of Tidal Energy in the World Energetics
Related Chapters
Biographical Sketch
This chapter presents an overview of the worlds tidal energy situation. The program New
energy ideas for the 21st century, which was adopted on the initiative of Russian specialists
at the first international conference on Power generation and society, and the sixth meeting
of the International Fuel and Power Association, points out that fundamental support should
be provided to continuous growth of the production and demand for pure and renewable
energy sources, which will occupy the leading position on the list of important energy
resources by the middle of the 21st century. It is understood that the renewable, ecologically
safe and economically justified energy of marine tides is primary among these sources.
In the 1990s the potential of tidal energy has been evaluated in all countries, whose shores are
washed by the worlds oceans; the most promising regions for the installation of power plants
have been ascertained, and procedures developed for utilization of the power generated by
tidal power plants in power systems; methods have been approved for the building of these
structures under open-ocean conditions; and, finally several TPP, which demonstrate the high
multisided economic effectiveness of the use of this form of renewable energy, have been
constructed in various regions.

1. Tidal Range
The tidal range can vary significantly depending upon the position of the site on the globe, the
coastal configuration and bathymetry. Thus it can be just few centimeters in the land-locked
seas, such as the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, etc., and up to many meters at the funnel-
shaped bays open toward the ocean. The highest tide in the world with a range of 17.3 m is
observed at the head of such a bay named Fundy in Canada. The highest tides are also in the
Severn Estuary in the UK (14.5 m), at the port of Granville in France (14.7 m) and at Puerto
Rio Gallegos in Argentina (13.3 m). The highest tides in Russia can be observed in the Bay of
Mezen of the White Sea, in the Penzhinskaya Guba of the Sea of Okhotsk, at Vodopadny
Cape (13.4 m) and in the estuary of the Kuloi River (10 m).
During each lunar day two tidal rises and two falls usually happen, i.e. with a period of
approximately 12 hours and 24 minutes (semidiurnal tides) or only one high and one low tide
in each 24 hours 48 minutes (diurnal tides). The actual tidal oscillations are in most of the
cases a combination of these two types and are named after the one that substantially prevails
over the other. The resultant tide is called mixed tide. The highest level reached by the sea in
any of the tidal periods is called high water (HW) and the lowest low water (LW). The tidal
range A is the difference in the height of the water between low and high tides. It may be
characterized by the height of the high or low water with respect to the mean sea level called
the tidal amplitude, A/2 (Figure 1). These characteristics may significantly vary in time at a
given site. Over the interval of 14.7 days, which is a half of the lunar month, the most
noticeable changes happen. During this period the amplitude varies from its maximum to
minimum and again to maximum. These extreme values are also varying in magnitude. In the
course semidiurnal tides the maximum amplitudes take place at New Moon or Full Moon
(spring tides) while the minimum amplitudes are observed about the time of the first and third
quarters of the New Moon (neap tides). In the course of diurnal tides, the maximum
amplitudes take place at the extreme declinations of the Moon (tropic tides), and the minimum
at the zero declination (equatorial tides). The amplitude of the resultant tide reaches its
maximum magnitude when the tropic tides are in phase with the spring tides.
Figure 1: Characteristics of tide
The tide generating force resulting from the gravitational interaction between the Earth, the
Moon and the Sun causes the periodic rises and falls in the level of water in the worlds
oceans and tidal currents. Due to the rotation of the Earth-Moon system around their common
center of gravity, the tide generating force of the Moon at a given point of the Earths surface
is determined as the difference between the local gravitation attraction of the Moon and the
centrifugal force.
Another type of tides is that of tides caused by the Sun. They occur on the same principles as
the lunar tides, but are smaller by a factor of 2.17 because of the much longer distance
between the Earth and the Sun. The simple semidiurnal periodicity of tidal oscillations is
affected by three basic factors, i.e. a variable declination of the tide-generating celestial bodies
(the Moon and the Sun) with respect to the Earths equatorial plane, changes in their relative
positions with reference to the Earth, and finally, changes in their respective distances from
the earth. The resulting effect is called inequalities of tide caused by differences in the heights
and times at which the high and low waters take place. The difference in two adjacent high
and low waters during 24 hours and differing times of fall and rise is known as diurnal
The parallax inequality or monthly inequality is caused by the variation of the Earths distance
from the Moon, since the Moon goes around the Earth in an elliptical path. The resulting tide
increases when the Moon is in its perigee, i.e. at the distance of 57 earth radii. And
accordingly the tide decreases when the Moon is in its apogee, i.e. at the distance of 63.7 earth
radii. Such variation of the tidal range takes place every 27.55 days.
2. The Energy of Ocean Tides
The energy of ocean tides is the result of the tide generating forces. Part of it can be lost due
to the dissipation resulting from the tidal friction forces and also by the power interchange
between the Earth and its atmosphere. The energy may change from the kinetic to the
potential form and vice versa in the course of tidal motions. Because the tidal motions have
wave nature, wave energy transfer may take place within seas and oceans.
The world ocean has an energy balanced state as well as its separate parts, i.e. seas, oceans,
etc. The following major factors determine tidal energy: work of tide generating forces,
energy dissipation by friction forces, and power interchange between the basin and the solid
parts of the Earth. The quantitative estimates of the energy flows are equal to 2.4 TW.
It is difficult to provide preliminary quantitative estimation of the energy derived from the
tidal process with the help of an actual TPP even in ideal conditions. The reason is that the
construction of TPP and operation of its generating units have an effect on the structure of the
tidal wave, which leads to the transformation of the tidal regime. Under such conditions,
however, simplified formulas of estimations are being used, for a number of cases mentioned
below. These formulas can be used at the preliminary design stages. One of the widely used
formulas is Bernshtein formula given in the following. It can be used to define the annual
potential energy of the tidal basin E in kWh.

where Am - mean tidal range, S - Area of the tidal basin, km2
This formula can be used to estimate the energy potential of the basin when the tide has a
regular semidiurnal origin. This is typical for the majority of coastal sites where TPP are
If the tide is of the mixed nature, the energy potential of the tidal basin can be estimated by
the following formula:

In this formula D changes from 4 (24 hours tide) to 0 (12 hours tide).

3. Main Positive Features of Tidal Energy

The period of tidal inequality (when tidal fluctuations change from the spring tide to the neap
tide state) is represented by the synodical lunar month. During this period main tide
generating factors go through all their typical phases (see Figure 2). These laws of tidal
variations within one month are caused by the movement of planets and speak for
invariability of the complete monthly cycle for all lunar months of the year. As the tidal wave
is a function of its amplitude, the tidal range variations illustrate fluctuations of tidal energy.
The graph analysis shows that the mean lunar month tidal energy remains unchanged (like the
mean tidal range) for any month of any year. This is the main advantage of the tidal energy,
i.e. the invariability of the monthly average power annually and in series of several years.
Thus tidal energy can be compared with river energy.

Figure 2: One-month diagram for a regular semidiurnal tide (Sosnovets island, White Sea):

full moon; - new moon; E - Moon at the equator; S - Moon in

southern declination; N - Moon in northern declination; A - Moon at apogee; P - Moon at

4. Projects of TPP
The tidal energy was first discovered back in the Middle Ages. It was used in water mills in
coastal areas of the UK, France and Canada. The first tidal mills were built on small bays near
the sea or in the river estuaries. Dams equipped with slice gates or flap gates were used to
separate their basins from the sea. The gates were opened and closed automatically during
incoming and outgoing tide. The trapped water was used to drive big water wheels, which
reached 6 m in diameter. In the 19th century such wheels were used in Germany for pumping
sewage in Hamburg. In England the City of London was supplied with water using water
wheels installed under the London Bridge. There were also other schemes regarding usage of
tidal energy and in the period between 1856 and 1939 over 280 patents were registered
dealing with this problem.
The main problem for the construction of TPPs is the diurnal inequality and discontinuity of
tidal energy. Thus it took over 200 years for French engineers to eliminate such inequality. All
engineers working on this problem (Belidor, Decoeur, Claude, Caquot, Defour) tried to solve
it by dividing the bay, separated from the sea for the TPP, into several basins connected to the
sea or to each other with turbines.
There are still discussions regarding TPP with several basins. However a long history of the
pioneer TPP Rance in France and the Kislaya Guba TPP in Russia proved the advantage of the
one basin TPP scheme and inclusion of TPPs into main energy system.
Ten TPP are operating in the world today: the commercial Rance plant in France (240 MW,
placed in service in 1967), and experimental plants - Kislaya Guba in Russia (400 kW, 1968),
seven TPP in China (total capacity of 10 MW, 1971-1980), and the Annapolis plant in Canada
(20 MW, 1985). In the 1990s, designs have been developed for large-scale TPP in England -
Severn (7.2 GW) and Mersey (0.7 GW), and in Canada - Cumberland (1.15 GW) and
Quebecuid (4.08 GW); design work is currently underway on TPP in South Korea and
The building of the Rance and the Kislaya Guba TPPs signaled a new era in the use of tidal
energy, making it possible to implement its practical use in power systems by daytime
transformation of the moons energy. The 30-year operation of these TPPs has demonstrated
the economic efficiency of tidal energy and the ecological safety of TPP.

5. Efficient Model of Tidal Energy Usage

The model proposed by L.B. Bernshtein and developed in Russia for use of tidal energy has
been found most effective for the implementation of TPP. According to this model, it is
proposed to utilize the tidal force of the sea by closing off marine gulfs in a manner so as to
bring forth their nature, focusing attention on mean-monthly power generation, irrespective of
the season of the year. In contrast to the multi-basin plants that have been designed in the
world in recent years, the new model for the utilization of tidal energy is calculated for a
single-basin general plant, which provides for the maximum amount of energy at the lowest
cost, directing it toward the unification of power systems encompassing countries and
continents. Here, pulsating and discontinuous, but invariably guaranteed tidal-energy fluxes
on a monthly cycle are unified with the power generated by other electric plants, mutually
enriching one another. Thus, river hydroelectric plants with reservoirs regulated over the long
term can lower their output during the period of maximum tides (spring tide) when the output
of the jointly operating TPP increases. The water saved here in the reservoirs of the
hydroelectric plants will be used during the period of minimum tides (neap tide) to
compensate for the reduction in output of the tidal electric plants. Reversible turbines, which
make it possible to generate electrical power during the peak-demand period and which are
used in the pump mode to absorb the excess capacity of thermal and nuclear power plants, are
employed to overcome the diurnal discontinuity in TPP output, which proceeds through the
night. Use of this model ensures the safe and effective operation of thermal and nuclear power
plants and a saving of part of their capacity under conditions in a number of countries, whose
shores are washed by high tides, and are themselves connected to highly developed power
systems saturated with different types of thermal and nuclear power plants, as well as
hydroelectric plants with large reservoirs. This model is known in the world as the Russian
model and has been adopted in all modern designs of TPP.

6. Economical Methods of TPP Construction

For the economic feasibility of TPP projects, it has been necessary to overcome the barrier of
cost, which has risen after construction of the Rance TPP with a price tag of approximately
twice that of a comparable river hydroelectric plant. To resolve this problem in Russia, it was
proposed to use the floating method of construction, which was long-known, but heretofore
never used in the construction of hydroelectric plants. This method, which was employed for
construction of the Kislaya Guba TPP, freed the builders from the task of constructing
expensive cofferdams in the sea. Use of the floating method, that is called the Russian method
of TPP construction on Canadian, English and Australian projects, has been irreproachably the
most outstanding achievement of scientists and engineers in the 20th century.
High-voltage lines on supports up to 126 m high across the water surface of the Kakhovka
Reservoir, and water-passing structures of the Saint Petersburg dike in the Gulf of Finland,
which are formed from 130 51 12 m blocks with a water displacements of 32 000 tons
and each of which contains five water-passing openings with spans of 24 m (their towing took
place when ice covered the gulf) were constructed by the floating method in Russia from 1984
through 1988. The floating method has made it possible to lower construction costs by 30-
40%, and with respect to their dimensions and type of design, the floating structures installed
are prototype of floating power houses in Russia and throughout the entire world. A
subsequent appreciable drop in the cost of TPP structures is assumed for the new Russian-
built orthogonal turbines for TPP, which will make it possible to lower expenditures for TPP
equipment by more than a factor of 1.5 (equipment costs are approximately 45% of the
overall estimated construction cost), and to reject the use of water-passing spillways.
The cost of electric power generated at tidal power plants is cheapest when compared to the
cost of electric power generated at all other types of electric plants; this has been
demonstrated by the more than 30 years of operation of the commercial Rance TPP in France.
Thus, the cost of electric power of 1 kWh at the Rance TPP during 1995 amounted to 18.5
centimes; 7.44 for operating expenditures, 2.66 for taxes, and 8.40 for current expenditures -
this year, the energy costs for hydroelectric, thermal, and nuclear power plants is 22.61, 34.20,
and 26.15 centimes per 1 kWh, respectively. In that case, the trend toward a gap in energy
costs between the TPP and other types of electric plants is gaining increasingly in favor of the

7. Ecological Safety of TPP

There are no doubts that tidal power plants are the most ecologically pure source of energy as
compared with all other electric plants in commercial operation. In contrast to thermal electric
plants, TPPs do not discharge toxic pollutants into the atmosphere, do not heat the earth, and
as opposed to hydroelectric plants, do not threaten wave-induced breaches, nor do they
represent a potential threat to mankind in contrast to nuclear power plants.

8. First in the World Industrial TPP Rance in France

The TPP Rance in France was constructed in 1961-1967 in the site located 4 km from the sea,
thus protected from strong waves. The total length of the dam is 750 m. Its depth is about 12
m. Inside TPP 24 turbine-generators are located with a capacity of 10 MW and D = 5.35 m.
Each of the turbine-generators is equipped with 4 adjustable blades (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Cross-section of TPP powerhouse along generating unit axis dimensions in meters
The Rance TPP is constructed according to the designs of R. Gibrat, based on the new
principles of tidal power utilization and theory of TPP operating cycles. This theory was
fulfilled in the tidal bulb hydraulic set, which enables the flexible operation of a TPP.
When the Rance TPP was under construction, the most vital problem became the diversion of
a flow. It discharged periodically varying between 0 and 16 000 m 3 s-1 with a speed of 2.75 m
s-1 as tides ebb and flow in different directions.
At the present time the Rance TPP is in a very good operating condition and can serve during
many decades further on.
This TPP shows stable performance in generating energy monthly and annually regardless
seasonal water flows. Thus a maximum energy output is obtained and the Rance TPP is very
efficient economically producing the cheapest energy in France.
The Rance TPP plays an important role in demonstrating the ecological purity of the tidal
energy. Thus in the TPP basin a new ecosystem was created, which contains a more
diversified biota than in the past.

9. First in Russia Kislaya Guba TPP

The tidal electric plant pioneered in Russia - the Kislaya Guba TPP - was constructed from
1965 through 1968. The plant operates in the power system of Kola Peninsula and is leased to
the S.Ya.Zhuk All-Russian Scientific-Research Institute for Design and Exploration as a
scientific base for support of the construction of marine power-generating structures,
including construction under conditions of the Far North. In view of the uniqueness of the
design, the method of construction, the model, and the region in which it operates, the Kislaya
Guba tidal plant is in the State Register and is preserved as a monument to the science and
engineering of Russia (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: View of Kislaya Guba TPP on Arctic shore

The novelty of the Kislaya Guba TPP consists in the fact that it is the first structure in Russia
to operate in an ocean medium; in terms of durability, the worlds only large-scale concrete
structure in arctic regions and the first structure to be built by the floating method without
cofferdams in the practice of world water-power construction. The significance of the Kislaya
Guba tidal power plant as a power-generating entity is the fact that it has demonstrated the
possibility of use of discontinuous daily and pulsating monthly fluxes of tidal energy at an
always-guaranteed and constant mean-monthly value as a component part of the power
system, and has also been approved as a model of the utilization of tidal energy in the form of
a single-basin plant with a two-way hydraulic-generating set.
The scientific base of the Kislaya Guba tidal plant was created in 1963 and includes rooms
with all conveniences for scientific personnel an archive of natural observations over the 75-
year period of investigation; stationary marine stands in the tidal zone, under water, in the
marine atmosphere, and in the ice; an ecological testing ground in the basin; a
hydrometeorological station and tidal-depth gages in the sea and basin; and experimental,
static, electrolysis, and sorption plants. A scientific base of the Polar Institute of Oceanology
and the Fishing Industry with an experimental marine-culture section created on the basis of
the TPP is also located in the area of the latter.
Thirty five years of research at the Kislaya Guba tidal power plant have demonstrated that
operation of the plant with use of a six-mode hydraulic-generating set (two-way turbine,
pump, and water-passing regimes are possible) ensures its flexible operation, which makes it
possible to incorporate the TPP effectively into the power system both in the peak, and basic
portion of the load curve. And, the unique domestic generator with a variable rotational speed,
which has been used in the TPP for experimental-commercial operation, makes it possible to
increase the efficiency by 5%. The research also established that the thin-walled reinforced-
concrete structure of the tidal power house is in good condition after 32 years of service under
the extreme natural conditions of the arctic coastline; the artificial bed, which was built
beneath the water and which performs daily under variable-sign heads, is stable in terms of
filtration, and no suffusion of soil is detected; stabilization of the pools is reliable within the
limits of the design heads; settlement of the tidal electric power house has been uniform with
respect to angles and has completely stabilized; the systems designed to protect against
electrochemical and biological corrosion have preserved the equipment and structures; this is
an exceptionally important achievement in the extremely severe conditions in the region
where the TPP is located (corrosion of unprotected metal reaches 1 mm per year); the concrete
in the tidal power house exhibits particularly high frost resistance (F>1000), has not sustained
any damages, and its strength exceeds the design value in all zones.
Ecological studies (started at the dam site in 1924) confirmed the principal ecological safety
of tidal energy. Operating experience with the Kislaya Guba TPP under various regimes of
water exchange between its basin and the sea makes it possible to predict the ecological state
of the environment and indicates the inadmissibility of disturbance in the plant design
operating modes. Monitoring of the behavior of ecosystems in the TPP basin, which is closed
off from the sea by a dam, is now being carried out at the Kislaya Guba TPP (from
measurements taken at 12 biostations); the conditions of the marine structural materials used
for the power plants (concrete, metals, polymers) with ecologically safe components and
which are durable when serving in the marine medium of the Transpolar region (according to
measurements taken by 540 remote instruments of a monitoring-measurement system
installed in the construction since 1965); the time-tested reliability of the artificial bed of the
tidal power house, which was placed under water during construction (based on
measurements taken by 68 instruments located at the bed-bottom contact, and six
benchmarks on the tidal electric power house for monitoring of its settlements); and, the
serviceability of the systems installed to protect the reinforced concrete and equipment from
corrosion and overgrowth during the entire design service life of the TPP (from operating
results of three experimentally operated plants).

10. Projects of Global TPP in Russia

The operation of and scientific research at the Kislaya Guba TPP have enabled us to validate
the designs of heavy-duty globally significant TPP in Russia, the implementation of which
holds promise at the start of the 21st century. Thus, a feasibility study for the Tugur TPP with
a capacity of 8 million kW with an annual generation of 19.5 billion kWh was performed in
1996. The tidal power plant in Tugur Bay is designed as one of the most important sources in
providing cheap and ecologically pure energy for the commercial and residential needs of
people residing in the Far East. The detailed design and organization of the construction have
been calculated so as to receive the first energy flux from the TPP by just the seventh year of
construction. As an example, the projected power generation of the TPP, which exceeds half
of the entire modern level of the electric demand of the Far Eastern Region, may be achieved
by the tenth year. The installation of horizontal turbines with a diameter of 10 m has been
planned for the TPP, while an additional number of sets is projected for hydroelectric plants
on the Uchur River.
It is presented that in addition to the regeneration of our Far Eastern Region, the electric
power of the Tugur TPP may be demanded on a global scale even under todays conditions in
Japan, China, and Korea in connection with the fact that significant foreign investment in the
form, for example, of the manufacture of floating blocks for the TPP in the shipyards of Japan
may be called upon for the plant implementation.
Despite the demand for electric power, which has been diminishing in regions of European
Russia as compared with the 1990 level, conditions for further development of power
generation in these regions by a build up of entities for thermal and nuclear power generation
are unfavorable. The position is further acerbated by the fact that the possibility of introducing
large-scale hydroelectric plants in regions of the Center, North, along the Volga, and in the
Caucasus are extremely limited, and use of wind and solar power within the limits of the
prospects under consideration is objectively restricted to the coverage of light electric loads in
local regions. The inclusion of the future renewable power of marine tides in the energy
balance is expedient for expansion of the electric-power base in European regions of the
country and for preservation of the ecological situation there.
The maximum power potential of the marine tides of European Russia is concentrated in the
Mezen Gulf on the White Sea, where surveys have determined a possible annual power
generation of approximately 50 billion kWh from TPP sets rated at approximately 18 million
kW. Use of the unique power output of the TPP under consideration is possible in regions of
Central and North-Western Russia and for the export of capacity and power to Western
Europe. The technical indicators of this giant power complex have been considered primarily
in developments made to date by the S.Ya.Zhuk All-Russian Scientific-Research Institute for
Design and Exploration regarding the Mezen TPP. And, where there is no doubt as to the total
power effect of the TPP as a result of its inclusion in the largest power pool of Russia, the
limits of compensated regulation of TPP capacity using hydroelectric and pumped-storage
power plants must still be investigated to determine the possibility of TPP usage for the
exportation of guaranteed capacity to the East-West Pool. Solution of principal problems at
the Mezen TPP requires further developments in which the economic and ecological
effectiveness of the power complex as compared with alternative thermal electric plants
operating on imported fuel or nuclear power plants should be indicated with consideration
given to operational longevity (see Figure 5).
Figure 5: Evolution of the Mezenskaya TPP alignment:
I - 1935, Ldam = 2.8 km, 45 generating units, and 40 sluices, double-effect operation, N = 112
MW, E = 0.48 TWh; II - 1940, Ldam = 3.5 km, single-effect operation, 350 MW, E=1 TWh; III -
1940, N = 250 MW, E = 0.67 TWh; IV - 1960-1962, Ldam = 4 km, N = 0.5 GW, E = 1.35 TWh;
IVa - 1960-1962, Ldam = 9 km, N = 1 GW, E = 3 TWh; V, N= 500 MW, E = 1.35 TWh; VI and
VII - 1976, Ldam = 50 km, N = 8.8 GW, E = 25 to 30 TWh; IX - 1983-1991, Ldam = 66.3 km, S =
2460 km2, N = 15.2 GW, E = 45.87 TWh, 800 generating units, D1 = 10 m, double-effect
operation, S = 860 km2, N = 6 GW, E = 10 TWh; VIII - 1976, Ldam = 87 km, S = 2215 km2, 400
generating units, D1 = 8.5 m, N = 8.8 GW, E = 25-30 TWh; IX - 1983, Ldam = 74.5 km, S =
2330 km2, N = 15.2 GW, E = 50 TWh, 800 generating units, D = 10 m, double-effect
Preliminary surveys conducted during 1972-1985 on the Penzhinskaya TPP in the basin of the
Sea of Okhotsk demonstrated the feasibility of the creation of the Chukotka TPP with an
unprecedented capacity of 87 million kW. It is impossible, however, to justify the TPP pay
back under modern conditions in view of the mismatch between its capacity and the region
consumers. Nevertheless, a proposal currently under discussion in the United States on the
construction of a transportation and power tunnel under the Bering Strait will make it possible
to examine the Penzhinskaya TPP in a perspective for the transmission of its power to North
America and as a power base for Eastern Siberia.
It must be stressed that in Russia, all modern research and design developments involving the
creation of heavy-duty tidal power plants with the possibility of their global utilization are
associated with results of research carried out at the scientific base for the Kislaya Guba TPP.

11. Annapolis TPP and Projects of High-Capacity TPP in Fundy Gulf in Canada
The pilot TPP with the capacity of 20 MW was commissioned on the Bay of Fundy in 1984
close to Annapolis Royal. The project cost was 56 million Canadian dollars. In comparison
the total cost of all power plants constructed in 1984 in Nova Scotia was about 60 Canadian
dollars. This TPP was a pilot plant for Cumberland and Cobequid in the Bay of Fundy and
had to demonstrate commercial operation of a larger diameter Straflo turbine. There was an
opinion till 1981 that they could just approach the level of profitability with bulb units applied
in such projects.
According to the announcement of the producer of the Straflo turbo-generator about decrease
of its costs by 10% there appeared a hope that TPP capacities become more efficient. Waiting
for a big order this firm invested into production of the pilot unit.
It took four years to construct this TPP. Civil works were carried out during 20 years and the
erection and adjustment of the turbine generator unit took 28 months. The TPP was connected
to the power system of the province. The Annapolis pilot TPP is of great importance for the
selection of the turbine generator type in the future tidal power developments, despite its
small capacity. It also play an important role in solving the problem of the fish passage.
The trials at TPP of the Straflo turbine still continue. The construction of TPP in the Gulf of
Fundy, where the highest tides in the world take place (16.2 m) was considered at different
sites starting from 1912.
At the present time projects of Cumberland and Cobequid TPPs are completed. Their
efficiency is economically proved when world prices for oil are increasing. Other advantages
of TPP over the alternative energy sources have been also proved earlier.

12. Construction of TPP in China

A number of micro TPPs were constructed in 1960s, they are located in the river estuaries.
Many of such TPPs were built using the existing protective dikes and simple equipment in
very short terms. In 1980s more powerful TPPs appeared. Currently seven such TPPs are
operating, with a total capacity of 10 MW. Among these plants we can mention the Liuhe TPP
in China, which was constructed in 1976. Another plant is the Bashkoi TPP in the Shandong
province, constructed in 1978. It has six hydropower sets, 160 kW.
One of the most interesting projects in China is the Jiangxia TPP. It is situated in the Gulf of
Lequing in the Wenling country. The planned capacity of this plant was 3900 kW, however
only 3200 kW were actually installed. The width of the bay at the plant site is about 680 m
long. The highest tidal range here is 8.39 m, and the mean is 5.08 m. The surface of the
reservoir at the site is 1.4 km2. This plant operates in two-way generating and two-way
sluicing models, with the single-basin and the double-effect installation.
This construction consists of a barrage, sluice, powerhouse and a switchyard. The barrage is a
rock filled dam with a clay core that was originally designed as a beach. However, before its
completion it was reconstructed and adjusted for the TPP. The existing sluice was also
reconstructed and strengthened. It has 5 opening gates 3 meters in size. The powerhouse (see
Figure 6) is located on a rock foundation on the left bank. It was constructed in-situ under
protection of cofferdams. Currently five of the four planned sets are installed. They have a
bulb type similar to those used in the Rance TPP. The sixth set will be of a new type under
Figure 6: Plan of the Jiangxia TPP power house, (dimensions in mm)

13. TPP in Korea

The tidal range on the Korean coast is from 9.5 m to 4.6 m, and can reach level of 13 m in the
Gulf of Cuanhuo. The potential of tidal energy in the Southern Korea is estimated up to 1.7
GW. In recent years TPP projects Chancy, 460 MW, and Garolim, 472 MW have been carried
It is also known that in the Northern Korea, province of Tedongan, where tides reach 8 m, a
pilot TPP was constructed.

14. Project of High-Capacity Severn TPP in England

In the UK more attention is given to TPPs in recent years. It is caused by the expected
exhaustion of oil fields in the Northern Sea and big concern regarding environmental
The deep penetration of the Bristol Channel into the land of England together with highest
tides on the European coasts (mean tidal ranges are 14.5 m in spring) has lead to an interest in
Severn Barrage projects, studied for more than 135 years already. The result was a new
project in 1989 (see Figure 7).

Figure 7: Turbine caisson of the Severn TPP. Design of 1989 (dimensions in m)

This made it possible to reduce the barrage overall length from 19 to 15.9 km, increase the
basin area to 489 km2, and to accommodate a maximum number of turbine and sluice caisson
units in two sites of deep water (30 and 20 m) above rock (a large outcrop of Carboniferous
Limestone) with a minimum of rock dredging. Of the overall length of 15.9 km, 4.3 km are
taken by the TPP power house, 4.1 km by sluices, 3.9 km by plain caissons, and 3.6 km by an
embankment dam: 216 power sets are accommodated in two power houses of the TPP - one
on the Welsh side (168 power sets) and the other on the English side (48 power sets), the
power houses consisting of 72 float-in caisson units accommodating four power sets each (56
and 16 floating caissons respectively).
The generating unit caissons are 67.5 by 80 m in horizontal dimensions and 40 to 46 m high,
depending on the depth of the rock occurrence. The quantity of concrete in a turbine caisson is
between 33 000 and 46 000 m 3. The unit weight prior to towing is 110 to 127 000 t, the
draught is 21 to 24 m, the quantity of ballast is as follows: sand - 52 000 m 3, concrete - 13 000
All the 157 floating caissons will be constructed in construction docks on the shores. The area
allocated for these docks allows for an arrangement of three construction pits; in each of the
pits three floating caissons can be constructed simultaneously. It is presumed that the
construction docks will be located on the shores of the Bristol Channel, in the barrage site
area, and on shores as far away as Scotland, where existing shipbuilding docks might be
utilized. An offer to construct the caissons in Russia, near to Kotlin Island in the Gulf of
Finland (St. Petersburg), was also considered.
The floating caissons will be transported from the construction docks via the main fairway
from Gardiff and then in shallower water along the barrage site to the intermediate grounds.
To provide for the 300 m wide fairway 2.5 M m3 of soil are to be excavated.
The turbine runner of the TPP is 9 m in diameter. Four blades of the S-shaped profile ensure
high efficiency performance in the direct turbine and pumping modes. The turbine discharge
at the rated head is 424 m3s-1.
The ecological researches have revealed the beneficial effect of the TPP operation on the
environment, manifesting itself in the rise of minimum and lowering of maximum water
levels, in improvement of navigation conditions, in decrease of water turbidity and in
corresponding growth of micro-organisms and fish populations.
Of great importance is the fact that the Severn TPP will also make a decisive contribution to
the problem of atmosphere purification in the area with population numbering 3.5 million
persons, as the TPP eliminates the necessity of burning 8 Mt of coal in coal-fired power
station, thus preventing the emission of 17.6 Mt of harmful carbon dioxide.
Construction of the Severn TPP is also supported by social and economic considerations. The
TPP construction and operation will result in a vigorous incentive to the development of
industry, trade, transport (the double-lane motor road across the Bristol Channel connecting
England and Wales), in the increase of jobs, providing up to 500 000 man-years of work in the
adjacent areas (the peak of those involved being to 50 000 persons). The TPP basin will attract
millions of tourists and create a new recreational area. The total project cost is 8.283 M.
These economic indices and the approaches used in the development of the 1989 design were
examined at the 3rd Conference on Tidal Power sponsored by the Institution of Civil
Engineers, held in London in 1989, and it was concluded that the Severn TPP would be an
efficient plant. It has been recommended to start the TPP construction in 2000, putting the
first power set into operation in 2003 and the last in 2005.
The entire Severn TPP construction quantities are the following: construction pit excavation
(80 million m3 including 10% of rock excavation); Rockfill (16 million m3), Sandfill, barrage
(6.2 million m3); Sandfill, ballast (9.0 million m3); Concrete in floating caissons (5.6 million
m3); Concrete in blocks (0.85 million m 3); Cost of the power equipment (2.820 million British
The construction of the plant took 9 years, including the preparatory period (planning,
designing, site investigations, etc.) and an actual construction period.
TPP projects in India, Argentina, Brazil, Australia and South Korea are carried out in the same
way. All developments are based on technical decisions of the Rance and the Kislaya Guba
15. Role of Tidal Energy in the World Energetics
The total capacity of the 150 TPP that could possibly be constructed on the shorelines of the
world oceans is approximately 800 GW, and their annual generation is 2000 TWh.
If we compare this potential with the total generation of all electric power stations of the
world in 1999, it becomes evident that TPPs even at their complete development will not be
able to solve the global problems of power demand.
However, the analysis of already designed projects given in this chapter shows that, in a
number of countries the shores of which are washed by seas with rather high tides, TPPs may
solve existing problems of power, energy and ecology.
This is important because the proposed model for utilization of tidal energy allows its positive
quality (invariability of the mean monthly potential in the seasonal and yearly cycle) to
provide effective harmonious operation of power stations of different kinds, replacing coal-
fired power stations polluting the environment.
The analysis of modern TPP shows that in technical aspect the problem of their construction is
solved, and economical evidence is reached taking into account ecological purity. World-
known researches of the tidal energy R. Gibrat (author of the TPP Rance) and L. Bernshtein
(author of Kislaya Guba TPP) have proved for the 21st century possibility for the world to
have renewed and ecologically safe tidal energy of the ocean.

Related Chapters
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Banal M (1997). Histoire de lenergie maremontrice en France, La Houille Blanche, 3, 14-15. [History of tidal
energy -utilization in France].

Bernshtein L.B., Erlichman B.L.,Gelfer S.L., Kuznetzov N.N., Marfenin N.N., Micots L.M., Monosov M.L.,
Monosov L.M., Nekrasov A.V., Silakov V.N., Suponitsky L.I., Usachev I.N. (1994). Tidal Power Plants. Books I
and II, Institute Hydroproject, Moscow [in Russian]. [Realization of Russian model in tidal energy usage and
application of floating technology in construction of modern TPPs].

Bernshtein L.B., Usachev I.N. (1997). Utilization of tidal power in Russia in overcoming the global energy and
ecological crisis, La Houille Blanche , 3, 96-100. [Role of large Russian TPPs in solving ecological problems of
Europe and South-Eastern Asia].

Clarck H. (1997). Prospects for Fundy tidal power, La Houille Blanche , 3, 79-85. [Design stages of the TPP in
the Bay of Fundy of Canada from 1966 to 1985].

Kirby R. (1997). Environmental consequences of tidal power in a hypertidal muddy regime: the Severn estuary,
La Houille Blanche, 3, 50-56. . [Ecological studies at designing the Severn TPP in England].

Koh C.-H. (1997). Korean mega-tidal environments and tidal power projects: Korean tidal flats - biology,
ecology and land uses by reclamation and other feasibility, La Houille Blanche, 3, 66-78. [Problems in tidal
energy taming in South Korea].

Marfenin N.N., Malutin O.L., Pantulin A.N., Perzova N.M., Usachev I.N. (1995). Tidal Power Environmental
Impact. Moscow State University. 126 pp. [in Russian]. [First generation of studies on the observed TPP
ecological impact by the results of monitoring systems of the Rance TPP and the Kislaya Guba TPP].
Nekrasov A.V., Romanenkov D.A. (1997). On effects produced by tidal power plants upon environmental
conditions in adjacent sea areas. La Houille Blanche, 3, 88-95. [Transformation of tide value at separation of sea
tides by a TPP barrage].

Retiere Ch., Bonnot-Courtois C., Le Mao P., Desroy N. (1997). Etat ecologique du bassin maritime de la Rance
au terme de 30 aux de fonctionnement de 1usine maremotrice. La Houille Blanche, 3, 106-107. [Substantiation
of TPP ecological purity on the basis of 30-year site observations at the Rance TPP in France].

Shaw T.L. (1997). Study of tidal power projects in the UK, with the exception of the Severn barrage. La Houille
Blanche, 3, 57-65. [Problems in designing large TPPs in UK].

Usachev I.N., Ivanov F.M. (1996). High performance concrete of the Kislaya Guba Tidal Power Plant for arctic
regions of Russia. (in Russian). Third Canmet on ACI International Conference Concrete in a Marine
Environment. St-Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, Canada, p.20. [Development of long-term highly frost-
proof concrete for Arctic shore tidal seas and its use for the Kislaya Guba TPP in Russia].

Biographical Sketch

Igor N Usachev was born in July 4, 1932, Moscow, USSR

1957 Graduated from the Moscow Power Engineering Institute.
1973 Candidate of Technical Sciences (Thesis Investigations of very high frost
concrete and fine-wall reinforced concrete hydraulic structures at the North.
1957 up to now engineer, chief engineer of the projects, Director of
Laboratory and Head of Department, Design, Survey and Scientific Research Institute
1963-1984 Chief of Group on Working Designing and studies of
Hydroproject, Kislaya Guba tidal power plant/
Author of more than 400 scientific papers and 7 monographs.
Main activities: mastering tidal energy; introduction of floating techniques in erecting of hydropower projects;
development of long-living marine construction materials; electro-chemical and biological corrosion protection.
Member of Scientific Council on Biological Damages of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

To cite this chapter

I.N. Usachev, (2005), TIDAL ENERGY, in Renewable Energy Sources Charged with Energy from the Sun
and Originated from Earth-Moon Interaction , [Ed. Evald E. Shpilrain], in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems
(EOLSS), Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford ,UK, []
[Retrieved July 20, 2007]