Water Column Velocity Data Gathered at Bourne Tidal Test Site
As part of the research project, “Assessment of the Tidal Energy at a Demonstration Site: Cape Cod Canal, MA,” University of Rhode Island ocean engineering doctoral student Soroush Kouhi and three other students went out to the Bourne Tidal Test Site (BTTS) to retrieve an acoustic doppler current profiler (ADCP) that was deployed for one month to take water column velocity data. The data will be analyzed to show what the water velocities were for 30 days. The high-resolution data will be correlated to result in a projected energy power output.
Determining projected power output for a tidal testing area is important because when device developers install their own turbines at the BTTS, they can compare data from their turbine to the actual energy output recorded by the URI team. Every turbine is different, but all designers hope to top or match previous power output results.
The Teledyne ADCP is enshrouded in a bottom-mount frame called a trawl resistant bottom mount. It was placed overboard to fall to the seafloor, tethered to the BTTS structure and left to collect data. As with anything that enters the challenging marine environment, the ADCP was seen being buffeted by the currents and the ice floes that move by with the current. When it was time to collect the device, its buoyancy bladder deployed on target and it floated to the surface for retrieval.
While at the BTTS site, the team installed a downward-looking sea surface level sensor that will correlate tidal heights with the water velocities recorded underwater by the ADCP. All of this data will be combined to further characterize the water flow environment at the BTTS.