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

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

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

SearchSecurity

  • evil maid attack

    An evil maid attack is a security exploit that targets a computing device that has been shut down and left unattended.  An evil ...

  • Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)

    In security, Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is a comprehensive framework of all the relevant subjects a security professional ...

  • rootkit

    A rootkit is a program or, more often, a collection of software tools that gives a threat actor remote access to and control over...

SearchHealthIT

  • value-based healthcare

    Value-based healthcare, also known as value-based care, is a payment model that rewards healthcare providers for providing ...

  • health informatics

    Health informatics is the practice of acquiring, studying and managing health data and applying medical concepts in conjunction ...

  • clinical trial

    A clinical trial, also known as a clinical research study, is a protocol to evaluate the effects and efficacy of experimental ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

  • crisis management plan (CMP)

    A crisis management plan (CMP) is a document that outlines the processes an organization will use to respond to a critical ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

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