Tidal energy capacity map & tidal testing in the river Scheldt (BE)

Project Overview

Tidal energy capacity map of the river Scheldt

Flemish waterway manager Waterways & Sea Canal NV is investigating the potential of the Scheldt as a renewable energy provider. Experiments  in the Scheldt will reveal if existing turbine techniques are sufficient to create cost effective energy in the low velocity of the Scheldt water.With the mapping of the Scheldt, Waterways & Sea Canal NV identified the most ideal locations to deploy tidal turbines. An existing model of the river helped them measure flow speeds and calculate potential energy.Out of this study, three specific locations emerged as very suitable: a bridge in Temse, a pontoon near Steenplein in Antwerp and a jetty in Lillo. Because the flow speeds of the other two locations can also be found at the bridge in Temse, that location was selected as a test location for three devices. First turbine tests are going on as we speak.water-to-energy

Potential energy study of the Heusden Lock

Since the Scheldt has many inlet and outlet constructions, a study maps the cost effectiveness of creating energy with a low head turbine at the Heusden Lock. This pilot has international consequences, since the water supply from the Dutch Scheldt is an important element to guarantee the tidal power.

Now that the results are in, W&Z concludes that the Heusden Lock is in fact not a suitable location to harvest tidal energy. This because the amount of water flowing through and the change in water levels due to the tides, is not sufficient. The energy produced would not meet the requirements of the deployment to be cost effective.

Important is though, that thanks to Pro-Tide a method was developed that allows to quickly estimate the potential energy generation along the many other inlet and outlet structures of the Scheldt.

Testing tidal techniques in the river Scheldt

The Scheldt bridge at Temse was identified as an appropriate location to run tests with tidal devices.

Three manufacturers were selected to deliver three different tidal turbines to make a comparison, based on effectiveness, speed and user-friendliness.

The study will reveal which turbine technique is the most sufficient to create cost effective energy in the low velocity of the Scheldt water. The project at the Heusden Lock has been shut down following negative results to harvest tidal energy. A small flow rate, small drop (only 30% of the time more than 1 meter) and limited duration of time to pump water to the Scheldt river obstruct the effective operation of a tidal turbine in the lock.

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