Until now tidal current and wave power devices have not been optimised for operation in mixed current/wave environments. Wave devices have tended to be designed to operate with minimal currents and tidal devices designed assuming little or no wave effects. Unfortunately most near coast wave environments are subject to tidal and other current effects and many of the largest tidal sites, such as the Pentland Firth, are exposed to direct wave influence and, crucially, to substantial swell. Extreme long waves modify the fluid motion well down into the water column and could have a significant influence on tidal current devices and their operation.
Experience with devices at sea has now confirmed the need to be able to predict and mitigate the effects of tidal currents on wave devices and waves on tidal current devices. This work stream aims to develop an understanding of the effects of waves on tidal currents and energy conversion devices and the effect of tidal currents on waves and wave devices and how to formulate an integrated design methodology that mitigates counter productive effects. The identification of design practices necessary for mixed environments will considerably extend the exploitation of resources.