Tag: water

World Oceans Day 2016

Did you know…?

  • We have explored less than 5 percent of the Earth’s oceans. In fact, we have better maps of Mars than we do of the ocean floor.
  • The earth’s longest mountain range is the Mid-Ocean Ridge more than 50,000km in length. The mountain winds around the globe from the Arctic Ocean to the Atlantic, skirting Africa, Asia and Australia, and crossing the Pacific to the west coast of North America. The Mid-Ocean Ridge is four times longer than the Andes, Rockies, and Himalayas combined.
  • The pressure at the deepest point in the ocean is more than 11,318tons/sq m, or the equivalent of one person trying to support 50 jumbo jets.
  • The Kuroshio Current off the shores of Japan is the largest current. It can travel between 40-121 km/day at 1.6-4.8kph, and extends some 1,006 m deep.
  • The Gulf Stream Current is a well-known current of warm water in the Atlantic Ocean. Its speed is close to that of the Kuroshio Current, at a speed of 97 km/day, the Gulf Stream moves a 100 times as much water as all the rivers on earth and flows at a rate 300 times faster than the Amazon, the world’s largest river.

You’re probably starting to wonder why an ocean engineering company is sharing interesting and cool ocean facts with you. June 8th, 2016, is the 7th annual World Oceans Day. World Oceans Day is an annual celebration honoring the ocean’s contribution to our world. The ocean is beautiful to look at and plays a pivotal role in our everyday lives.

At DSA our business is the ocean. We understand how critical the ocean is to our planet and how vital it will be to future of power generation.

Did you know there are six way to generate power from the ocean?

  1. Floating wind energy
  2. Wave energy
  3. Tidal energy
  4. Ocean current energy
  5. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OETC) – Energy derived from the temperature difference at various ocean depths and
  6. Osmotic power – energy derived from the different content of freshwater and saltwater.

Almost 90% of global wind energy is contained in the turbulence above the world’s oceans. Wind, waves and currents combined contain 300 times more energy than humans are currently consuming. Ocean Energy Systems headquartered in Portugal estimates the global potential for tidal energy is 1200+ TWh/year and wave power at 29,000 TWh/year. The potential for current energy, OETC and osmotic energy is still under evaluation.

With 44% of the global population living within 150 kilometres of the coastline, and more people migrating to these regions every year, working to create a sustainable marine energy industry is a natural choice – especially for Canadians. Producing renewable energy from ocean waves and marine currents has the potential to play a pivotal role in creating jobs and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Harnessing the power of the ocean to produce energy is still a relatively new industry, and extensive research is taking place to understand the challenges. By continuing to place an emphasis on understanding how our oceans produce thermal and mechanical energy we will ensure that our planet has access to reliable and affordable alternative energy sources.

Oceans are the heart of our planet and a great source of renewable energy. Join DSA as we celebrate World Oceans Day!

Setting the Standard

A path to a sustainable future with standard development.

Imagine if you had to install a new driver when you joined every new wireless network. Or if you had to convert that new album to play on your phone, computer, and stereo—sounds somewhat frustrating, doesn’t it?

This is why international standards have been developed: they touch your life daily in the electronics you use, the buildings you live and work in, the food you buy, the bridges you cross, and in hundreds of other ways you may never notice. International standards ensure safe products and equipment, and they also help the spread and adoption of technology, bringing those resulting benefits to your everyday life.

The ocean covers over 70% of the planet and 44% of the global population live within 150 kilometres or 100 miles of the coastline, with more people migrating to these regions every year.

Producing renewable electricity from ocean waves and marine currents has the potential to play a pivotal role in creating jobs, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and putting us on a path to a sustainable future.

Still, as a relatively new industry, there are significant challenges with marine renewables. One way to help overcome these obstacles and spread innovation is through—you guessed it—creating international standards. Multinational and interdisciplinary volunteers from academia, government, and industry share and pool their knowledge and experience to develop these standards.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has been fostering this process for over 100 years since it began pioneering standards for hydroelectric dams in the early 20th century. The IEC has specific groups that work on different types of electronics and electricity-producing equipment, and DSA has a role in Technical Committee (TC) 114, which focuses on marine renewable energy.

This month Dynamic Systems Analysis Ltd. (DSA) co-founder and Director of Engineering, Ryan Nicoll, attended the annual IEC TC114 plenary held in Guangzhou, China. Ryan leads the team developing and updating mooring standards for marine renewable technology.

TC114 Plenary group photo

TC114 Plenary group photo

DSA, representing Canada, along with other international experts from Japan, Spain, Denmark, UK, USA, Korea, Ireland, France, China, Germany, and Israel, produced an IEC standard for the design of mooring systems for wave, tidal, and floating river energy converter technologies. This, along with other criteria like power performance assessment, power quality, acoustic monitoring, and so on, will help ensure new devices and power projects certified to IEC standards will be safe and reliable.

TC114 group site visit to the Sharp Eagle wave energy converter off the coast of Wanshan island.

TC114 group site visit the Sharp Eagle wave energy converter off the coast of Wanshan island.

The Canadian government has recognized the abundant renewable energy resources Canada holds. This has led to Canada’s Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap, which established targets for the Canadian sector to contribute projects totalling 75MW by 2016, 250MW by 2020 and 2GW by 2030 for installing in-stream tidal, river current and wave energy generation.With generous ocean wave, tidal flow, and river resources across the entire country, Canadians in every province will be affected positively as these new technologies help raise the standard for power generation.

DSA works closely with companies across Canada to develop sustainable marine renewable energy projects, from tidal energy in Nova Scotia, to Hydrokinetic testing in Manitoba and the West Coast Wave Initiative with the University of Victoria in British Columbia, near the west coast office of DSA.

We understand that the ocean is the heart of our planet and we believe renewable energy, especially marine energy, will allow us to create a more sustainable, low impact form of electricity to power us into the future.


A Force of Nature

Tidal Energy Projects around the World

The amount of tidal power being produced today is still quite small, and the potential for growth is massive due to the size of the world’s oceans. People around the world make trips to the ocean, enjoying the beach, watching the tide come in and out, and marvelling at the magnitude of the waves during storms. Yet, many of us do not connect how the movement of tides could help our planet meet our growing energy needs. Canada, the United Kingdom and France are making waves with the development of several large test sites and commercial projects aimed at harnessing ocean tides to produce electricity.



Bordered by three oceans, with over 200,000 km of coastline, Canada’s potential for generating power through tidal, wave, floating wind and hydroelectric energy is excellent. For a country committed to protecting its natural resources, wave and tidal energy exploration is a natural fit as it generates electricity without polluting the environment. Researchers involved in exploring tidal energy potential, want to ensure that placement of tidal turbines will have minimal impact on marine ecosystems, fisheries, and other coastal activities. A core value of the tidal energy industry appears to be to minimize the impact on the environment, both visually and literally.

The predictability of the tides allows tidal power to integrate well into the existing grid infrastructure. Because water is 1,000 times denser than air, tidal plants produce electricity with smaller turbines and at lower flow speeds compared to wind plants.

Map of tidal resources in Canada


Canada’s tidal energy landscape includes:

The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE)

Located in the Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, FORCE is Canada’s leading research centre for in-stream tidal energy (tidal turbines).

FORCE is a shared observation facility with pre-approved berth sites for testing tidal turbines. The site, located roughly 10km west of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, centred in Minas Passage, is roughly 5km wide, and bordered by basalt cliffs. This area is the entrance to the Minas Basin, home to the world’s highest tidal range (16m).

This location was chosen for several reasons;

  • at low tide, it has water depth of roughly 45 meters;
  • a sediment-free bedrock sea floor;
  • straight flowing currents; and
  • flow speeds of greater than 5 meters per second on the flood tide, and only slightly less on the ebb tide.

The facility has been recently equipped with submarine cables, grid connection, and environmental monitoring. Each test turbine must be designed to operate in a range of flow speeds from zero to 11 knots, depending on where the turbine is located within the test area and how deep the turbine is positioned.

It is estimated that tidal turbines in the Bay of Fundy have the potential to generate 2,500 megawatts of electricity; enough to support nearly one million homes, with practically zero impact on the height and flow speed of the tides.

Fundy Tidal Inc.

Established in 2006, Fundy’s Tidal focus is small scale tidal energy projects that involve community ownership. Fundy Tidal is currently focused on developing three locations in the Bay of Fundy; Digby Gut(1.95MW), Grand Passage(500kW), and Petit Passage(500kW).

Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Test Centre (CHTTC)

The CHTTC was established to create a national hydrokinetic ‘run of river’ test location in which Canadian companies can test turbine systems, located on the Winnipeg River in the community of Seven Sisters. The centre attracts turbine manufacturers, developers, and universities, who are focusing on life-cycle project solutions for fully grid connected systems. The CHTTC provides an invaluable opportunity to understand the operational effects of hydrokinetic devices on the environment and provides information to help inform regulatory decisions for future projects.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the Crown has leased roughly 40 tidal and wave energy sites, with a total potential power generation capacity of 3GW.

Map of tidal resources in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom’s tidal energy landscape includes:

MEYGEN is a partnership between Atlantis Resources and The Company, which was established solely for the development of the Pentland Firth Inner Sound tidal site.

The Inner Sound site separates the north Scottish mainland from Storma Island and was chosen as a commercial site for several reasons;

  • accessibility for grid connection;
  • suitable water depth; and
  • maximum water speeds of up to 5 meters per second.

MeyGen is the largest planned tidal stream energy project in the world, with phase one consisting of four 1.5MW tidal turbines that will be deployed for 25 years.

Once completed the tidal array in Pentland Firth is projected to provide enough electricity to power 175,000 homes and it will eventually see up to 269 turbines on the sea floor.

FAIR HEAD TIDAL is a proposed tidal energy project with the potential to generate 100MW of renewable energy. Located off the east coast of Fair Head in county Antrim, Northern Ireland.

This project is a special purpose vehicle jointly owned by DP Marine Energy Limited and Bluepower NV.

Fair Head Tidal is scheduled to be delivered in two phases, the first being a 10MW demonstration array which is expected to be up and running in 2017. The second phase would complete the proposed 100MW array and would be capable of powering roughly 70,000 homes.

West Islay Tidal Farm is located off the west coast of Islay, which is the fifth largest island in Scotland. The West Islay project is a proposed 400MW tidal stream farm. Spearheaded by DP Energy and in partnership with Bluepower, the current proposal is for 30MW, but will eventually be expanded to the 400MW project as mentioned above.

The West Islay project is scheduled to be deployed in two phases. Phase one, a 6MW demonstration array is set for completion in late 2015/early 2016. The second phase will aim for commercial operation of 30MW in 2016. The remaining capacity will be developed throughout a staged deployment process starting in 2019 and ending in 2024.


After the United Kingdom, France has Europe’s second largest tidal energy resources.

Map of tidal energy resources in France

France’s tidal energy landscape includes:

Two tidal farms are planned for the Raz Banchard, near the port of Cherbourg in the Normandy region of France. This area represents roughly 50% of the total French national tidal power generation potential.

The first pilot farm is a partnership between GDF Suez and Alstom.

The second pilot farm for this location is a partnership between EDF, and OpenHydro. This project aims to have seven tidal turbines deployed in 2018 and will have a unit power output of 2MW, supplying electricity to roughly 13,000 local residents.

Fromveus Passage, sometimes called St. Vincents Channel, is a strait that lies between the island of Ushant and Men Tensel Rock off the coast of the French province of Brittany. This project is a partnership between GDF SUEZ and Sabellaand aims to see the between three and ten turbines at project maturity.

Paimpol-Brehat Tidal Farm is another partnership between EDF and Irish company OpenHydro. The Paimpol-Brehat Tidal Farm was initially a demonstration farm off the Île-de-Bréhat near Paimpol, France. 2016 will see the deployment of the first commercial turbine for this farm before years end. This project will eventually consist of four turbines, each capable of generating 2MW.In addition to Canada, The United Kingdom, and France, many countries are considered to be emerging markets for renewable energy.

In 2014 the Ministry of Energy in Chile, Corfo, a Chilean investment and development agency, and DCNS signed an agreement to create a Marine Energy Research and Development Centre in Chile (MERIC). With a roughly 240GW potential for wave energy, the Chilean government is keen to pursue a strong marine renewable energy strategy.

The government of India estimates the country has the potential to generate 8GW of tidal energy with the primary focus being in Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat, the Gulf of Kutch, and the Gangetic Delta. Atlantis Resources and the Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) are currently perusing a 250MW tidal power project in the Gulf of Kutch.

The Japanese Ministry of Environment has made a commitment to focus on renewable energy production. In a recent report, the country estimates their renewable energy output could be tripled from 11.5TW/h to 356.6TW/h by the year 2030. Nagasaki is taking the lead by creating close ties with the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, Scotland, leveraging their experience in marine renewables. This relationship will be valuable as Japan progresses in developing their marine energy industry.

Australia, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, and the United States are also looking to develop their own marine renewable energy strategies.

Dynamic Systems Analysis (DSA) works extensively with companies in North America and Europe on the design, development and installation analysis of tidal energy converters. Common installation challenges such as assessing moorings, anchor requirements, power umbilical bend radius, and installation methods in sites like the Bay of Fundy are frequently addressed by DSA and users of the numerical modelling platform ProteusDS.

Clean, renewable energy will help us to meet the power demands of the future, and Dynamic Systems Analysis is excited to join with industry leaders from around the world to harness this valuable resource.

Is Blue the New Green?

What is Tidal Energy?

Harnessing the Power of Water

Traditionally the power of water has been harnessed through hydroelectric dams to produce energy. Now, researchers and developers in North America and Europe are working to deploy underwater turbines and wave energy converters to generate clean renewable energy.

Harnessing the power of water can be traced back to the 8th century CE, where the first tide mill was found in Northern Ireland. During high tide, sea water would fill a collection pond through a one-way gate. During low tide the gate would close automatically, and once the tide reached a certain level the stored water would be released to turn a water wheel which was used to crush grain. These early tidal energy converters function similarly to tidal barrages which are still being used to generate electricity to this day.

Today, as in years gone by, the natural rise and fall of coastal waters is still used to transform the energy created by tides into electricity or other forms of power. Sea currents are magnified by the gravitational fields of the earth, moon, and sun pulling the water over geographic features, such as headlands, inlets, and straits. The Bay of Fundy (home to the highest tides in the world), provides an excellent example of the abundant resource that can be used to generate power. In this 270 km ocean bay between the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the rise and fall of the tide can be as high as 16 meters. In twelve hours, 160 billion tonnes of seawater flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy during one tidal cycle, more than four times the flow of all the world’s freshwater rivers over the same time period. The movement of the tides is a significant renewable and predictable source of power.

Three ways to generate tidal energy;

Tidal Streams: A turbine, similar to a wind turbine, is submerged directly in an area of significant tidal change, such as the Bay of Fundy or Pentland Firth in Scotland. Tidal stream generators draw energy from the currents in the same way wind turbines draw energy from air currents. The major benefit of tidal stream generators is that water is 800 times the density of air, meaning more energy can be extracted by a smaller turbine.


Tidal Barrages: A dam-like structure is constructed across a bay or river that has significant tidal flow, such as the Annapolis Tidal station in Nova Scotia and the Rance Tidal Power Station in Brittany, France. Turbines are installed within the barrage wall, as the tide rises, gates in the barrage open allowing water to flow though. As the tide lowers these gates close, creating a pool or tidal lagoon – the water is then released through the turbines, generating energy.

Tidal Lagoons: A self-contained structure, similar to a tidal barrage, which partly encloses a body of ocean water by the use of a natural or man-made barrier or breakwater. An example of this is the Swansea Bay project in Wales. As the sea level rises against the breakwater a difference in water level is created, once the desired water level is reached sluice gates are opened and water flows freely into a lagoon and through turbines to generate electricity. This process then occurs in the reserve, on the ebb tide in the same fashion.

Currently, tidal stream generators, often referred to as tidal energy converters or tidal turbines, are the most economical and least ecologically damaging option among the three main forms of tidal power generation. The biggest challenge facing the tidal energy industry is building economical, effective devices that can withstand the extreme ocean conditions they are deployed in.

In areas like the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia and Pentland Firth, Northern Scotland, tidal energy companies are contending with some of the strongest currents in the world. The tides in the Bay of Fundy are semidiurnal (two highs and two lows each day), making it one of the best sites to install tidal turbines, the currents, however, make it extremely difficult to design, anchor/moor and maintain turbines in the bay.

Dynamic Systems Analysis (DSA) works extensively with companies in North America and Europe on the design, development and installation analysis of tidal energy converters. Common installation challenges such as assessing moorings, anchor requirements, power umbilical bend radius, and installation methods in sites like the Bay of Fundy are frequently addressed by DSA and users of the numerical modelling platform ProteusDS.

The video below is a tidal turbine simulation in ProteusDS