Tidal Energy Resource Characterization in Alberni Inlet, B.C.
Fletcher, Samuel Joseph
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[author abstract] Tidal energy is a relatively new idea in renewable energy’s for coastal communities. Tides ebb and flood each day and transport a vast amount of water but the movement can be quite slow in the open ocean. To harness the power of the changing tides one must pick a site where the energy is focused into a very small area. Alberni Inlet, located on Vancouver Island, B.C., is a fjord similar in structure to Puget Sound and may be a site suitable for tidal energy extraction. This study attempts to determine how suitable Alberni Inlet is for investing in tidal energy and to quantify its resource. Using the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) aboard the R/V Thompson I was able to determine the amount of kinetic energy in the Alberni Inlet system. Results indicate that Alberni Inlet's extractable tidal energy is extremely low in comparison to similar tidal energy sites such as Admiralty Inlet.