“Most powerful” tidal turbine will have 600sqm rotor area

Orbital O2 2MW Orbital Marine Power's Orbital O2 2MW will feature rotor diameters of 20m and will have a 600sqm rotor area. Credit: Orbital Marine Power

Orbital Marine Power’s upcoming commercial production tidal turbine will comprise of a 73m long floating superstructure, supporting two 1MW turbines at either side for a nameplate power output of 2MW, at a tidal current speed of 2.5 m/s.

The Orbital O2 2MW will feature rotor diameters of 20m and will have a 600sqm rotor area, the largest ever on a single tidal generating platform to date. Orbital Marine believes that, when launched in 2020, it will be the most powerful tidal generating platform in the world.

Andrew Scott, CEO of Orbital Marine Power, said: “The Orbital O2 is a low cost solution for future commercial projects and builds on the features which made the SR2000 an industry breakthrough. This optimised turbine will unlock tidal markets around the world at a competitive price point and provide regulators and investors with a new, predictable renewable energy option.”

Blade pitching control

For the first time, Orbital Marine Power’s system will feature 360-degree blade pitching control. This will allow safe, dynamic control of the machine’s 20m rotors and will enable power to be captured from both tidal directions without need to yaw the entire platform. These controllers will support the installation of even larger blades in the future.

The Orbital O2 has been designed for low cost access to all systems and components, the vast majority of which are located within the floating superstructure.

It will also feature new ‘gull wing’ style retractable legs that raise the nacelles, pitch hubs and blades to the water surface for easy access without the need for any specialist heavy lift vessels.

Due to be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney in 2020, the Orbital O2 will have the ability to be towed and installed with modest sized workboats.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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