The design of the new Orbital Marine Power tidal turbine has been unveiled in a new animation as part of the FloTEC project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program.
Orbital Marine Power has revealed the designs of its upcoming commercial production tidal turbine, the Orbital O2 2MW, which is targeted to be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney in 2020.
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 optimized 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.”
The Orbital O2 will comprise of a 73-meter-long floating superstructure, supporting two 1 MW turbines at either side for a nameplate power output of 2MW, at a tidal current speed of 2.5 m/s. With rotor diameters of 20 meters, it will have a 600 square meter 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.
This first production unit will be funded with support from a live public debenture offer through the Abundance Investment platform (announced 16th October), along with the European Horizon 2020 FloTEC project, Interreg North West Europe ITEG project, and the OCEANERA-NET COFUND.
The debenture offer has already raised close to 50% of its £7m target.
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 for simple onsite maintenance as per the SR2000. The machine 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.
The steel structure of the turbine has been simplified to reduce fabrication costs and futureproof the product for volume manufacturing. The new configuration also reduces the draught of the unit to less than 3 meters to ensure this utility scale machine can be towed and installed with modest sized workboats.
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 20-meter 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.