Tide times around country
- you're telling me about tide times, that spent eight years as a bridge watchkeeping officer at sea?
Yes the times of high water do vary around the UK. But in essence the flow of the UK tides is the Atlantic flowing in and out, and it's tidal stream - water flow - that Sea Gen needs. The places where the company think it could site turbines are very restricted to begin with, and a lot of them have similar timings despite being widely separated as they are still responding to the same thing - the moon's effect on the Atlantic Ocean.
For example, look at today's times of maximum rate-of-change of height (the UKHO don't seem to be offering stream atlases online, sadly, but this will be a good approximation of the time of best stream flow).
Muckle Skerry (that's up in the mouth of the Pentland Firth, just south of the Orkneys; ripper tidal streams there*, good for SeaGen) - best times: 0300 and 0900
The Lizard, Cornwall (again, good fast tides) - best times: 0300 and 0900
Oops. Opposite ends of the country; same times.
Given that the range of possible locations (five knot tides in places you can sink piles - and won't block traffic) is very restricted, you'll really struggle to distribute turbines around so that you get a steady feed to the national grid overall. If you can do it at all you'll seriously limit the overall potential of the idea, which is already quite limited. And then you've still got a bad snag in that you'll suffer massive transmission losses piping your juice across the country from the fast flowing places to the slow flowing ones.
And then the times of the tides can be seriously changed by strong winds - which the SeaGen lads conventiently ignore - which will rot up your careful placement and balancing scheme fairly often even if you could do it. So you'll still need backup anyway!
Given that the whole thing's economically unflyable to begin with, trying to balance out the power surges by siting is going to er, blow it out of the water completely. Perhaps I should have put all this in the article, but I thought people would check if they had the idea.
PS - ad hominem guy - no my dad was not a miner. We won't get into yours.
*My ship nearly got turned round once by the eddies there. Not a big ship, but even so.
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