U.S. Department of Energy introduces database for tidal energy resources

The U.S. Department of Energy, in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, has introduced a new database highlighting the energy potential available in the United States from ocean tides.

This online database is an important step toward providing information that can improve the performance, lower the costs and accelerate the deployment of innovative waterpower technologies, DOE said.

Georgia Tech, in partnership with DOE, has developed the first national database detailing the potential extractable energy from the nation’s tidal streams, a press release states.

Researchers at Georgia Tech Savannah used advanced regional ocean models to simulate tidal flows along the entire U.S. coastline. DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory validated the model’s accuracy, and the resulting data are now publically available at the Web site developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology: www.tidalstreampower.gatech.edu.

The interactive database allows users to zoom and pan over maps of color-coded information on water depth, mean current speed and mean kinetic power density for tidal resources along the coasts of the contiguous United States, Alaska and Puerto Rico. Users can produce maps on depth and power density using the database’s geographic information system (GIS) tools. Additionally, users can select specific locations to build velocity and power density histograms, which are displayed as easy-to-read charts and graphs.

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