A division of HR Wallingford

SMARTtide - A new hydrodynamic modelling tool for the tidal energy industry

SMARTtide (Simulated Marine Array Resource Testing) is a unique suite of two dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic models of the UK's continental shelf including the north-west European coastline. Its three powerful hydrodynamic models are based on the open source, industry driven TELEMAC 2D module system.

SMARTtide was commissioned and funded by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). To access the SMARTtide secure zone or to view SMARTtide product listing, visit our SMARTtide page.

Three models make up SMARTtide

  • Coarse Continental Shelf Model (CCSM) provides a high level review and initial evaluation of tidal schemes
  • Detailed Continental Shelf Model (DCSM) can be used for a feasibility assessment of project development
  • Detailed Tidal Range Model (DTRM) used for assessment of tidal barrage and lagoon schemes (currently within the Severn Estuary) 

What are the key features of SMARTtide?

SMARTtide assesses:

  • the interactions between tidal energy systems around the UK, including how they combine to form an overall effect of tidal range and flow velocity
  • if extraction at one location will impact on the tidal energy resource at other distant sites around the UK and Europe
  • the impacts of the design, layout and location of the tidal farms on tidal range and flow velocity in the local area; and
  • any constraints that these interactions might place on the design, development and location of future tidal farms

SMARTtide advantages

  • up to one hundred times more spatially resolved than the current existing data set
  • ability to accept user driven scenarios as well as providing baseline data
  • can identify prime tidal current sites around the UK   
  • can be used for planning seabed surveys   
  • highlights the potential near and far afield impacts of tidal current and tidal range scheme
  • assesses the spatial impacts of a combination of tidal schemes at a regional or UK Level including the Channel Islands and French coast
  • enables extraction of the UK tidal energy resource to be effectively managed and sustainably farmed
  • optimises the UK tidal energy resource development for a particular variable e.g. the maximum energy output, phasing (to balance out energy production), minimum cost of energy, and to ensure that environmental changes do not exceed a particular limit   

Collaborative development

SMARTtide is the result of a project focussed on understanding the interactions in UK waters from the tidal energy extraction. Commissioned and funded by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), development of the model was a collaboration between HR Wallingford, Black&Veatch and the University of Edinburgh. The running and continued development of SMARTtide will be led by HR Wallingford under contract to the ETI.

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