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Harnessing tidal energy in the Westfjords Jonsson MASTER_Hei · PDF file Bjarni M. Jónsson Harnessing tidal energy in the Westfjords 60 ECTS thesis submitted in partial fulfillment

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  • Master‘s thesis

    Harnessing tidal energy in the Westfjords

    Bjarni M Jónsson

    AdvisorAdvisorAdvisorAdvisor: : : : Þorsteinn Ingi Sigfússon, PhÞorsteinn Ingi Sigfússon, PhÞorsteinn Ingi Sigfússon, PhÞorsteinn Ingi Sigfússon, PhDDDD

    University of Akureyri Faculty of Business and Science University Centre of the Westfjords

    Master of Resource Management: Coastal and Marine Management Ísafjörður, May 2010

  • Supervisory Committee

    Advisor:

    Þorsteinn Ingi Sigfússon, Ph.D.

    External Reader:

    John Nyboer, Ph.D.

    Program Director:

    Dagný Arnarsdóttir, MSc.

    Bjarni M. Jónsson

    Harnessing tidal energy in the Westfjords

    60 ECTS thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of a Master of Resource Management

    degree in Coastal and Marine Management at the University Centre of the Westfjords,

    Suðurgata 12, 400 Ísafjörður, Iceland

    Degree accredited by the University of Akureyri, Faculty of Business and Science,

    Borgir, 600 Akureyri, Iceland

    Copyright © 2010 Bjarni M. Jónsson

    All rights reserved

    Printing: University Centre of the Westfjords and H-Prent, Ísafjörður, June 2010

  • Declaration

    I hereby confirm that I am the sole author of this thesis and it is a product of my own

    academic research.

    __________________________________________

    Bjarni M. Jónsson

  • Master’s thesisMaster’s thesisMaster’s thesisMaster’s thesis

    Harnessing tidal energy in the WestfjordsHarnessing tidal energy in the WestfjordsHarnessing tidal energy in the WestfjordsHarnessing tidal energy in the Westfjords

    MarMarMarMarchchchch 2010201020102010

    Bjarni M. JónssonBjarni M. JónssonBjarni M. JónssonBjarni M. Jónsson

    Instructor: Instructor: Instructor: Instructor: Professor Professor Professor Professor Þorsteinn I. SigfussonÞorsteinn I. SigfussonÞorsteinn I. SigfussonÞorsteinn I. Sigfusson. Ph.D.. Ph.D.. Ph.D.. Ph.D.

    University of AkureyriUniversity of AkureyriUniversity of AkureyriUniversity of Akureyri

    Faculty of Business and ScienceFaculty of Business and ScienceFaculty of Business and ScienceFaculty of Business and Science

    UnUnUnUniiiiversity Centre of the Westfjordsversity Centre of the Westfjordsversity Centre of the Westfjordsversity Centre of the Westfjords

    Master of ReMaster of ReMaster of ReMaster of Resource Management: Coastal and Marine Managementsource Management: Coastal and Marine Managementsource Management: Coastal and Marine Managementsource Management: Coastal and Marine Management

  • i

    Abstract

    This thesis presents for the first time a serious and original attempt to provide direction for

    harnessing tidal power in the western fjords of Iceland. It focuses on the barrage method as the

    most likely technology to meet this goal. The feasibility of utilizing tidal energy as a

    renewable energy source in this area is approached from a scientific as well as a practical

    viewpoint.

    Evaluating measurements of tidal currents, Fourier analysis of water heights time series,

    estimations of energy potential in selected locations in the Westfjords, evidence points toward

    the tidal barrage as the most promising approach to electrical generation in designated fjords.

    Preliminary findings indicate favorable conditions in a few specific areas.

    In Gilsfjörður, a tidal barrage is already in place, making the addition of a power plant both

    cost-effective and practical. In another, a new road crossing is planned over three fjords,

    Þorskafjörður, Djúpifjörður and Gufufjörður. Combining road construction in the common

    mouth of those fjords, with tidal power plant development, addresses a range of local and

    regional issues, and would result in a maximum potential of about 70 MW of renewable

    periodic energy, producing a total of 144 GWh per year.

    Keywords: Coastal zone, renewable energy, tidal barrage, tidal power, Westfjords.

  • ii

    Acknowledgements

    I would like to thank my supervisor Prof. Þorsteinn Ingi Sigfússon, Ph.D., for his unfailing

    guidance throughout the work. Also Geir Guðmundsson, of the Innovation Centre, for various

    useful suggestions towards the end of the project. Micaela Kristin-Kali, Ph.D., offered

    suggestions during the writing process. Also, valuable discussion with Prof. Ólafur

    Guðmundsson, Ph.D., of the University of Reykjavík regarding the harmonic analysis of tidal

    waves.

    My thanks also go to a number of people who have assisted in various ways to make this

    project possible. They are: Peter Weiss, Ph.D., Sigríður Ólafsdóttir, and Pernilla Rein of The

    University Centre of The Westfjords.

    I owe many people thanks for their assistance and advice during my work. I list them

    alphabetically:

    Andrea Haraldsson, Bragi M. Bragason (Míla), Böðvar Þórisson (Náttúrustofa Vestfjarða),

    Guðjón Sch. Tryggvason (Icelandic Coastguard - Hydrographic Department), Guðlaugur

    Sigurgeirsson (Landsnet), Hreinn Haraldsson, Ph.D., (Dir. Gen, The Icelandic Road

    Administration), Jón Ö. Pálsson, (Atvest), Kristján Haraldsson (CEO, Orkubú Vestfjarða),

    Shiran K. Þórisson (Vaxvest), Steingrímur Jónsson, Ph.D., Sölvi Sólbergsson (Orkubú

    Vestfjarða), Þorgeir Pálsson (CEO Atvest), Þorleifur Eiríksson, Ph.D. (Náttúrustofa

    Vestfjarða), Icelandic Maritime Administration and The National Energy Authority of

    Iceland.

    Finally I would like to thank my wife Þóra G. Ingimarsdóttir for her patience over the past two

    years.

  • iii

    Table of contents

    Abstract ................................................................................................................................................... i

    Acknowledgements .............................................................................................................................. ii

    1 Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 1

    1.1 Field research ........................................................................................................................... 3

    1.2 The Westfjords ......................................................................................................................... 4

    1.3 Definition of the problem ......................................................................................................... 5

    1.4 Questions to be answered ....................................................................................................... 5

    1.5 Study approach ........................................................................................................................ 5

    1.6 Summary of the sections .......................................................................................................... 7

    2 Theoretical overview ................................................................................................................... 9

    2.1 The tides ................................................................................................................................... 9

    2.2 A short overview of tidal power harnessing history .............................................................. 12

    2.3 The functioning of the first tidal mills .................................................................................... 12

    2.4 Tidal mills ................................................................................................................................ 14

    2.5 Tidal power plants .................................................................................................................. 20

    2.6 Tidal technology - overview ................................................................................................... 28

    2.7 Why harness tidal power? ...................................................................................................... 29

    2.8 Tidal Barrage - tidal power plants. ......................................................................................... 31

    2.9 Social implications (tidal barrage) .......................................................................................... 33

    2.10 Ecological and environmental aspects (tidal barrage) ........................................................... 33

    2.11 Economics (tidal barrage) ....................................................................................................... 35

    2.12 Tidal currents a different concept of tidal power plants. ...................................................... 36

    2.13 New and future projects ........................................................................................................ 47

    2.14 Social implications (tidal current power plant) ...................................................................... 48

    2.15 Ecological and environmental aspects (tidal current power plant) ....................................... 48

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