Tidal energy: Orbital launches O2, the most powerful turbine in the world

The Scottish company has launched its new 2 MW sea-flow generator. The machine will be towed to the Orkney Islands for commissioning before being connected to the European Marine Energy Center

Scotland confirms its leadership in the exploitation of tidal energy

The tidal energy sector now has a new champion. It is O2, the axial turbine created by the Scottish developer Orbital Marine Power. The machine with its 2 MW of power is currently the most powerful in its category to enter into operation. But to see it at work it is necessary to wait a few more days.

O2 was put into the water yesterday, in the port of Dundee, transferring it from the Forth Ports quay into the River Tay via a submersible barge. From here she will be towed to the Orkney Islands for commissioning and then connection to the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC). Speaking of the launch, Orbital CEO Andrew Scott said, “This is a milestone for Orbital,” said Andrew Scott, CEO. of the Scottish company. “O2 is a remarkable example of British 'clean' technological innovation and the construction we have completed demonstrates what a UK supply chain can achieve when given the opportunity; even under the extraordinary pressures of a pandemic ”.

The construction of the O2 turbine - which began in the second half of 2019, under the guidance of TEXO Fabrication - relied mostly on made in UK resources. From the processing of Scottish steel to the production of anchors in Wales and blades in the south of England.

How does O2 work?

The system takes advantage of river and tidal currents. The plant consists of a floating tubular steel hull, moored by anchors to the seabed. Two underwater rotors are connected to the body by means of as many arms that can be raised to the surface in case of maintenance. Thanks to the harnessing of tidal energy, a single turbine has the capacity to generate enough electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 homes. Saving around 2,200 tons of CO2 to the atmosphere each year.

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/9hN3dBpPu8Q

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