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Tidal Hydroelectric Power
Page #2 Original Scan
The arch in this image is designed to maintain a load that is in the thousands of tons continuously upon it.  The more weight it supports, the more pressure it can generate via the piston pump as a result of buoyancy.
The float is designed to support the entire load of the counter weight held up by the arch.  As the tide comes in the more weight the float can support the better it functions by placing the force between the piston, cylinder and the arch.

Go here to learn more about:
Archimedes Principal of Bouyancy

The math here is simple:

PSI = {Load Bearing Capacity of Float}/{Piston Area in Cubic Inches}

Number of Pistons = {Required GPM}/{GPM Per piston}