Tidal Power plant: Operation, Pros, cons,

Tidal Power Plant Tutorial

Tidal Power Plant - An Introduction

  • The first tidal power plant in the world is installed in France in the year of 1965.It has a power of 240MW.
  • In india, the tidal power plants are available in Gulf of Cambay and Gulf of Katch.

What is meant by tide?
The periodic rise and fall of water level of the sea is known as tide.

  • They are caused by the attraction of sea water by the moon.
  • These tides of sea contain the huge amount of energy.
  • By utilizing this energy, we can generate electrical power.
  • It is one of the important form of non-conventional energy source. It is good to know all the basic terms of tides.

Terms Related to Tidal Power Plant:

Flood Tide:
When the water level is above the mean sea level,it is called as High tide or flood tide.

Ebb Tide:
When the water level is below mean sea level,it is called as Ebb tide or Low tide.

Spring Tide:
When the sun and the moon are almost in line with the earth the tides have their maximum amplitude. It is called as spring tides.

Neap Tides:
When the moon earth sun angle is a right angle the tides are at minimum amplitude. It is called as neap tides.
The ratio between the amplitudes of the maximum spring tide and the minimum neap tide can be up to 3.

Tidal Range:  
The peak-to-peak amplitude of the tidal variation is known as tidal range. In the mid-ocean the tidal range is about 1m, but in the coastal region, it will be more.

The following figure shows the arrangement of tidal power plant:

Operation of Tidal Power Plant:
A basin is constructed in the sea in such a way that the basin is separated from the sea and a difference in the level of water is obtained between the basin and sea.
During high tide,the height of tide is above that of tidal basin level.Water flows from sea-side to tidal basin side through turbine.During low tide,tidal basin level is above the height of tide.Water enters the turbine from tidal basin.The potential energy of water stored in the basin is utilized to drive the turbine.The turbine is directly coupled to an alternator and hence the electricity is generated.


  1. Large area of valuable land is saved as the tidal power plants are located on bays.
  2. As no fuel is used no pollution will occur
  3. No hazardous gases, atomic waste, ash are produced.
  4. Peak power demand can be met when tidal power plant is combined with thermal or hydroelectric power plants


  1. The power supply is not continuous. So double basin or double basin with pump storage must be constructed to supply continuous power.
  2. The transmission loss will occur if these bays are available at far off distances from the load centres.
  3. The tidal power plants can be installed only if natural sites are available.

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