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Technology     Solar     Wind     Hydro     L.E.D.

Tidal Energy

Tidal energy is the utilization of the sun and moon's gravitational forces on large bodies of water to produce energy. Tidal energy is a type of energy that produces electricity and other forms of power through the use of ever changing levels of water. In other words, tidal energy is a direct result of tide shifting from low to high to low.

Tidal energy is one of the oldest forms of energy. Tide mills, in use on the Spanish, French and British coasts, date back to 787 A.D. Tide mills consisted of a storage pond, filled by the incoming tide through a sluice and emptied during the outgoing tide through a water wheel.

The tide moves a huge amount of water twice each day and although the tidal energy supply is reliable and plentiful, converting it into useful electrical power is not easy. There are two basic theories on how to convert tides into power. The first involves converting the power of the horizontal movement of the water into electricity. The second involves producing energy from the rise and drop of water levels.

Low Head Hydro Electric

A low-head hydro project generally describes an installation where some of a river's flow of water is diverted through a penstock. Today most people think of a hydro power plant with a large hydraulic head to power turbines, a dam with a huge reservoir behind it, like Hoover Dam. The controlled release of water from the reservoir creates the pressure to turn the turbines. The costs and environmental impacts of constructing a dam make traditional hydroelectric projects expensive. Not only in terms of investment but are costly to the ecosystem since a huge area needs to be flooded, it impedes wildlife migrations, and it prevents sediment and silt from reaching the coastline. Since low head hydro has no dam it captures the kinetic energy of rivers, channels, spillways, irrigation systems, tides and oceans without the detrimental environmental side effects.

However, low-head units are typically smaller in capacity that conventional large hydro. A large low head hydro plant may produce 5 MW's of power. Some of the costs of small turbine/generator units are offset by lower investment costs. Each site needs to be carefully studied to determine the economical and ecological effects of developing a low-head hydro plant. AAET has the capacity to handle projects in this size and scope. Our team of experts is experienced with completing design build projects of this scale under budget and on schedule.