ERI, LCC assess Orkney tidal currents with radar

Ebb tide measurements (Photo: ERI)
Ebb tide measurements (Photo: ERI)

Environmental Research Institute (ERI) and Lews Castle College (LCC) have tested the X-band radar system which measured the flood and ebb tide currents at EMEC’s Falls of Warness tidal energy test site in Orkney.

The trials took place in mid-July when scientists from ERI and LCC deployed the radar on the south-west tip of Eday overlooking the test site.

At the same time, scientists from LCC and Marine Scotland Science were working on board the research vessel Alba na Mara, deploying traditional oceanographic instruments to measure the flows in the channel, ERI Informed.

This multi-instrumental approach enabled scientists to compare the current velocities using the different measurement techniques, giving confidence in the results.

The radar was operational for four days, measuring flood and ebb tide currents and spatial variation in the velocity fields at intervals of approximately 80 seconds.

Data collected by radars is expected to contribute to improved tidal energy resource assessment and understanding of the effects of tidal turbines on the flow.

Operating these instruments should enable LCC to contribute to the sustainable development of the marine energy industry in Scotland, according to ERI, whose scientists are now processing and analysing the gathered data.

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