Tidal power plant © Siemens Stiftung 2018 CC BY-SA 4.0 international

Tidal power plant


Operating principle of a tidal power plant

English, Spanish (CREA), German
Video (66.7 kByte)
A tidal power plant makes sense if the height difference between high and low tide is very large. The first (since 1966) and largest tidal power plant is located in Saint-Malo, France (240 MW, 600 million kWh of electricity per year). There are others (or others are planned) in Canada, Russia, and China. The tidal power plant harnesses the power of the enormous water movements during high and low tide. For this purpose, a dam is built across a bay or the mouth of a river and turbines are installed inside the dam. At high tide, the water flows from the ocean side into the bay through the turbines. At low tide, the water flows in the opposite direction and also drives the turbines. Primarily Kaplan tubular turbines are used in this case. Other tidal power plants do without a dam; instead of making use of the height difference of the tides, they take advantage of the currents produced by the tides (“tidal current power plant”).
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© Siemens Stiftung 2018
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