Renewable Energy


First modeling study on tidal energy extraction from minor tidal channels in Puget Sound.

First 3-D model application focused on the entire multi-inlet bay system in the West Puget Sound.

The hydrodynamic model was validated for tidal elevation and velocity.

Model results suggest that extracting a small amount of tidal energy has a negligible impact on tidal circulation in the system.


Previous tidal energy studies in Puget Sound have focused on major deep channels such as Admiralty Inlet that have a larger power potential. This paper focuses on the possibility of extracting tidal energy from minor tidal channels of Puget Sound by using a hydrodynamic model to quantify the power potential and the associated impact on tidal circulation. The study site is a multi-inlet bay system connected by two narrow inlets, Agate Pass and Rich Passage, to the Main Basin of Puget Sound. A three-dimensional hydrodynamic model was applied to the study site and validated for tidal elevations and currents. We examined three energy extraction scenarios in which turbines were deployed in each of the two passages and concurrently in both. Extracted power rates and associated changes in tidal elevation, current, tidal flux, and residence time were examined. Maximum instantaneous power rates reached 250 kW, 1550 kW, and 1800 kW, respectively, for the three energy extraction scenarios. Model results suggest that with the level of energy extraction in the three energy extraction scenarios, the impact on tidal circulation is very small. It is worth investigating the feasibility of harnessing tidal energy from minor tidal channels of Puget Sound.


In-stream tidal energy


Puget Sound

Agate Pass

Rich Passage

Tidal circulation

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© 2017 Published by Elsevier Ltd.