Roxtec supplies safety seals for world’s most powerful tidal turbine

Roxtec has supplied Scotland-based Orbital Marine Power with a range of cable sealing solutions to support construction of the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, the Orbital O2 2MW.

Orbital is the world’s leading developer of floating tidal stream turbines. The company’s O2 turbine is nearing completion at TEXO Group’s manufacturing facility in Dundee and will enter operation this spring at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) off the coast of Orkney. The O2 will be towed from Dundee to Orkney in the coming weeks before being anchored at EMEC’s site in the Fall of Warness where tidal speeds can exceed 3m/s. Once operational it will become the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, capable of providing enough clean and sustainable electricity to power more than 1,700 UK homes every year.

Richard Keith, Marine & Offshore Market Manager for Roxtec in Scotland, said the company’s sealing solutions will help protect the turbine’s control systems and ensure operational reliability. Roxtec transits are being used to create dustproof and watertight seals where electrical control and instrumentation cables pass through compartments in the turbine’s hull, and between its nacelles and pitching hubs. Bury-based Roxtec is an industry leader in sealing solutions for the marine and renewables sector, and its products have featured in offshore green energy projects throughout Europe. In 2015, the company supplied Orbital (formerly Scotrenewables Tidal Power) with certified waterproof bulkhead seals for its prototype 2MW floating tidal turbine, the SR2000.

Mr Keith said: “Roxtec seals helped ensure the safe and reliable operation of the SR2000 and we are delighted to be working with the team at Orbital once again to support the development of world-leading tidal technology. “Our cable transits are capable of withstanding exactly the kind of harsh marine environment that the O2 turbine will face off the coast of Orkney. The system is designed for cost efficiency, enabling multiple cables of varying sizes to be sealed quickly and easily, with the need for fewer openings. This flexible design not only speeds up the installation process but ensures future upgrades and maintenance work will be time and cost effective.”

Orbital’s team used the web-based Roxtec Transit Designer to save time during the project’s planning and installation phases. The online software is the most advanced of its kind on the market and allowed Orbital’s designers to quickly and simply produce detailed drawings of cable and pipe transit locations within the O2 tidal turbine.

Orbital’s CEO, Andrew Scott said, “It’s great to have access to the expertise, understanding and proven capabilities of suppliers like Roxtec; it helps make our lives easier and our product better, so we were more than happy to continue our relationship with Roxtec in developing solutions for the O2.”

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Press release by: Sarah Watt, Marketing & Media Manager, orbitalmarine