We often hear about wind turbines, that is to say of these turbines which transform the energy of the wind into electricity. But there are also tidal turbines , that is to say machines capable of extracting energy from moving bodies of water. One of these turbines, in particular, has been described as ” the most powerful in the world “. This innovative technology was built by Orbital Marine Power, a Scottish engineering company founded in 2002. After a series of tests and several technical developments, Orbital launched its machine with a power of 2 megawatts .
The machine, called O2, is 72 meters long and weighs around 680 tonnes. She was moved into Dundee Harbor from the dock at Forth Ports on the River Tay using a submersible barge. O2 will then be towed to the Orkney Islands where it will be put into operation and then connected to the European Center for Marine Energies (EMEC), where it will become the most powerful tidal turbine in operation. 02 will intercept marine currents in these waters and capture part of the energy to transform it into electricity. Construction of this powerful technology began in 2019 and has harnessed the skills and resources of the UK: from the processing of Scottish steel to the blades of southern England.
In addition, it has been designed to keep costs down. It uses floating turbines, moored at the bottom of the ocean. The floating structure is held in place by a four-point mooring system. By harnessing tidal power, a single turbine has the capacity to generate enough electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 homes and saves around 2,200 tonnes of CO2 each year.
Chris Smith, Managing Director of TEXO Group, said: “The O2 program has given us an important opportunity to demonstrate our multidisciplinary capabilities and our proactive approach to working in partnership with clients. zero emissions will provide a series of opportunities for the engineering and manufacturing sectors in the UK and we are very proud to see Orbital’s O2 turbine launched. “
There are many ambitions, and the company hopes to be able to build and install these turbines along the entire British coastline. Will this technology also arrive in other countries?