Resource assessment of the marine current developed in the Cozumel Channel

Alcérreca-Huerta, Juan C. and Callejas-Jiménez, Mariana E. and Ordonez-Sanchez, Stephanie and Gallegos, Gabriel and Allmark, Matthew J. and Johnstone, Cameron M. and Marino-Tapia, Ismael and O’Doherty, Tim and Silva, Rodolfo and Carrillo, Laura (2019) Resource assessment of the marine current developed in the Cozumel Channel. In: 13th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, 2019-09-01 - 2019-09-06.

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    Abstract

    Renewable energy based systems are expected to contribute on the reduction of greenhouse gases and carbon emission, while satisfying global energy demands. In Mexico, the Cozumel Channel located in the Caribbean Sea has been identified as a potential energy source in the region. Preliminary studies have shown that the ocean current is characterized by almost uniform and unidirectional flow velocities of up to 2.0 m/s within its mid-section with water depths > 500 m. Nevertheless, a detailed resource assessment in shallow waters of the Cozumel Channel is required to address sites potentially suitable for the installation of marine energy converters. Field measurements were taken during September 23rd-29th, 2018 to describe the spatial variation of the marine current velocities at various points along the east-side of the Cozumel Channel, at water depths less than 50 m. Flow velocities higher than 1.0 m/s were identified on the northern east of the Cozumel Channel, at a distance >600 m from the shoreline and over the continental shelf with water depths <50 m. Both energy and power intensity exceedance curves were developed from depth averaged velocities from ADCP measurements. Potential sites were identified where an array of marine energy converters could be installed preventing the devastation of the rich ecosphere renown in the region.