Tidal Turbines

The technology used for tidal turbines is still in development. The concept is similar to wind power, but instead the turbine is positioned underwater where it draws power from the water as the tidal flows turn the turbine which in turn powers an electrical generator.

The turbines have to be smaller than wind turbines to withstand the much stronger force of water compared with wind (water is 800 times denser than air). In some cases the turbines can turn both ways and so can take advantage of both the ebb and the flow of the tide.

The turbines are positioned to take advantage of particularly fast-flowing sea currents (‘tidal streams’), such as caused by headlands, inlets, straits or the shape of the seabed, where water is forced through narrow channels causing it to speed up.

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