Orbital Marine Power's technology runs against the established logic of tidal turbines being like underwater wind turbines and built on the seabed. Orbital believe that the unique operational and engineering challenges of tidal stream sites requires a more bespoke solution. A solution that at the core of it is floating, and that from this comes significant conceptual advantages including:
- Turbines aren’t constructed onsite but are manufactured in a similar way as ships, where precision processes and activities can be carried out in safer, controlled environments onshore and at quaysides.
- Onsite construction activities are reduced to familiar operations of installing moorings and cables, and these activities can be carried out by a range of low-cost vessels in a wide range of sea states.
- Turbine structure and systems can be optimised, simplified and modularised for low cost and high-volume manufacturing.
- Turbines can be towed and installed onsite using only low-cost vessels.
- Turbines can be readily accessed by service personnel whilst remaining onsite allowing low cost maintenance in parallel with ensuring high availability.
- With large, watertight hull structures allowing for power conversion, transformer and switching equipment to be onboard; turbines can be incorporated into multi-turbine arrays exporting down a single cable without the need for new underwater hub technology.
The incorporation of these features as embodied within the patented Orbital turbine presents a disruptive technology which enables lower cost and lower risk tidal energy as compared to competing technologies.
Towing and nacelle service configuration