Richard Karsten


Richard Karsten is hoping to support the establishment of a tidal-energy industry. He is conducting numerical simulations to estimate the power that could be extracted from certain sites in the Bay of Fundy. He is currently collaborating with several companies, including Fundy Tidal Inc. 

This research is focused on completing detailed resource and site analysis for potential in-stream tidal energy sites in Nova Scotia. This analysis includes characterizing the tidal flow, estimating the power that can be extracted from the flow and predicting the resulting impacts on the tides and tidal currents. Compute Canada infrastructure is used to conduct high-resolution numerical simulations of the tides and tidal currents in the Bay of Fundy. These simulations model the tides and tidal currents, and how energy can be extracted from the tidal currents. Last year, some of our research activities included making extractable power estimates for all major Nova Scotia tidal resources. In total, the calculations estimated that the tidal resource could support more than 1400 MW of installed capacity with only a minor impact on the tides. This is 55 per cent of Nova Scotia’s generation capacity. The results of this research could have significant impact Canada’s energy future. The research provides critical support to the establishment of a tidal-energy industry in Nova Scotia and nationally. Such an industry would produce substantial amounts of sustainable, renewable electricity that would reduce Nova Scotia’s production of greenhouse gases and decrease its dependency of foreign fuels. This research would not be possible without Compute Canada’s infrastructure because the numerical simulations require large computer resources not available at Acadia University or elsewhere.