Scientia Marina, Vol 70, No 1 (2006)

Exploitation of tidal power in the Bay of Cadiz: ancient tidal mills


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2006.70n121

José J. Alonso del Rosario
Applied Physics Dpt., University of Cádiz, Spain

Juan M. Vidal Pérez
Applied Physics Dpt., University of Cádiz, Spain

Julio Pérez Serrano
Contemporary History Dept., University of Cádiz., Spain

Juan C. Mendoza Sánchez
Contemporary History Dept., University of Cádiz., Spain

Abstract


Tidal mills were the main industrial activity in the Bay of Cadiz for centuries. They were the last step in the production of salt and flour made by grinding grains. They were installed along the shallow channels, called “caños”, around the Bay, where the frictional and geometrical effects are very strong. The authors have analyzed the propagation of the semidiurnal tidal waves along the Caño de Sancti Petri and the available tidal power in the area. The ancient tidal mills were located where the available tidal potential energy is highest, which ensured productivity for grinding salt and wheat in ancient times. Some considerations about the possibility of installing tidal power plants in the Bay of Cadiz now are given, which show that it could be a real and renewal alternative source of energy for the area.

Keywords


ancient tidal mills; long shallow channels; tidal wave propagation

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