Browse Definitions:
Definition

tidal power

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Tidal energy is the generation of clean electricity by harnessing potential energy of the shifting water in ocean tides.

The masses of Earth’s largest bodies of water are pulled by the gravitational field of the moon as it rotates around the planet. Tidal energy is harvested from the rising and falling water through a variety of methods including in-stream devices, barrages, tidal pools and dynamic tidal power, all of which work by driving a turbine.

The latter three methods rely on blocking the flow of the tidal waters within an area. The blockage creates a height difference that exploits gravity to produce greater force. The down side to these three methods is environmental disruption to the surrounding bodies of water. Older types of barrage systems are known to be particularly detrimental to fish populations. (Of the three, dynamic tidal power is the least damaging, as it does not enclose waters completely.)

In-stream systems are becoming increasingly popular, largely because they have the least impact on the environment. Furthermore, the systems are easier to remove for upgrades and create less disruption for sea-going traffic.

Tidal power is one of the most stable, reliable and adjustable types of green energy. Water-driven turbines also pose less risk to aquatic life than wind turbines do to avian life because the denser fluid drives a higher resistance at a lower rate of speed.

Although tidal power is more expensive to produce than wind power or solar power, newer technologies are improving efficiencies and lessening environmental impacts. In Atlantic Canada, which has the world’s highest tides, it is estimated that tidal energy could generate billions of dollars of revenue annually.

See a simple video demonstration of how a water turbine works:

This was last updated in January 2014

Continue Reading About tidal power

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

this was a total help to my class mates
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • vulnerability disclosure

    Vulnerability disclosure is the practice of publishing information about a computer security problem, and a type of policy that ...

  • incident response

    Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • flash memory

    Flash memory, also known as flash storage, is a type of nonvolatile memory that erases data in units called blocks.

  • NAND flash memory

    NAND flash memory is a type of nonvolatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data.

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of nonvolatile storage technologies.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close