The Orbital Launches World’s Most Powerful Operational Tidal Turbine
The Orbital Marine Power has recently launched a 2-megawatt tidal turbine named the Orbital O2, which is the world’s most powerful operational tidal turbine. During the launch, this 680-ton tidal turbine was transferred from the Forth Ports quayside facility in Dundee into the River Tay by using a submersible barge.
It has been towed to the Orkney Islands for commissioning after which it will be connected to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC). Its launch marked the first vessel launch from Dundee since shipbuilding ended over 40 years ago.
The Orbital has claimed that Orbital O2 has the ability to generate enough clean and predictable electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 homes in the United Kingdom. It also has the ability to offset approximately 2,200 tons of carbon dioxide production per year.
Orbital’s CEO, Andrew Scott during its launch said,
This is a huge milestone for Orbital; the O2 is a remarkable example of British cleantech innovation and the build we have completed here is an inspiring display of what a UK supply chain can achieve if given the opportunity – even under the extraordinary pressures of a pandemic.
The turbine has a 74-meter long hull structure with twin 1MW power generating nacelles at the end of retractable leg structures. These structures are designed to give low-cost access to all major components for through life servicing. To capture floating tidal energy, O2’s 10-meter blades give it more than 600 square meters of swept area.
The floating structure is held on the station with a four-point mooring system. Each mooring chain has the capacity to lift over 50 double-decker buses.
The turbine has been designed in such a way so that its installation, and all its associated moorings, can be carried out by low-cost work vessels. Furthermore, its servicing can be carried out by RIB vessels that minimize its downtime and lowers construction and operational costs.
A dynamic cable transfers electricity from the turbine to the seabed and a static cable along the seabed to the local onshore electricity network.
The project has been supported under the framework of the OCEANERA-NET COFUND project. It has been co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation program. The Scottish government had also supported O2 under Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund. The Abundance Investment Platform has also enabled O2 by a commercial debenture of £7m.
Orbital Marine Power Ltd is an innovative Scottish engineering company that was founded in 2002. It focuses on the development of a tidal energy turbine technology that is capable of producing a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy from tidal currents.