The overall potential for recoverable tidal energy depends partly on the tidal turbine technologies used. One of problematic points is the minimum flow velocity required to set the rotor into motion. The novelty of the paper is the setup of an innovative method to model the fluid–structure interactions on tidal turbines. The first part of this work aimed at validating the numerical model for classical cases of rotation (forced rotation), in particular, with the help of a mesh convergence study. Once the model was independent from the mesh, the numerical results were tested against experimental data for both vertical and horizontal tidal turbines. The results show that a good correspondence for power and drag coefficients was observed. In the wake, the vortexes were well captured. Then, the fluid drive code was implemented. The results correspond to the expected physical behavior. Both turbines rotated in the correct direction with a coherent acceleration. This study shows the fundamental operating differences between a horizontal and a vertical axis tidal turbine. The lack of experiments with the free rotation speed of the tidal turbines is a limitation, and a digital brake could be implemented to overcome this difficulty.