Helping turn the tide
on climate change
Key Technology Features
Floating – twin turbines fixed to retractable legs which are mounted to a floating platform enabling the tidal turbine to be positioned in the most energetic parts of the water flow.
Innovative structure – allows for low fabrication costs combined with modular assemblies for volume manufacture, and enable low cost access for through-life maintenance
Scalable – the platform and blade configurations cater for sites and projects of differing characteristics and scale, and turbines can be deployed in arrays much like wind turbines.
With a global installed capacity estimate of 100 gigawatts, tidal energy harvesting has the potential to power millions of homes, businesses and lives with a dependable form of low-carbon energy.
Full deployment of this resource would generate investment in equipment and services of over £300bn.
Currents flow around the world’s oceans as massive, cohesive streams that are continuously moving vast volumes of seawater over huge distances, making the ocean the most environmentally analogous setting for Orbital’s existing technology.
With relatively modest optimisation to Orbital’s existing multi-MW scale, tidal stream technology; phenomenal volumes of clean, dense kinetic energy from ocean currents could be harnessed.
Scaled down to capture power from river flow, our platform, can support off-grid demands from communities, households and electric vehicle charge points.
The retractable leg design also allows the turbine to be towed through shallow river systems without the need for specialist vessels with minimal environmental disruption and the potential to bring power to individual households.
Building on the reliable nature of tidal energy our technology is designed to play a complementary role in future low carbon energy systems.
The dependable characteristics that allow us to predict how much low carbon power our turbines will produce and when it will be produced presents a unique opportunity for integration with battery storage and synthetic fuel production.
The company has an established portfolio of multi-MW tidal stream projects, focused initially within UK waters, but also with an early stage global pipeline.
The O2 is the world’s most powerful tidal turbine and has been operational since July 2021 in Orkney, where it is connected to the UK electricity grid. It is a 74m long floating superstructure, supporting two 1 MW turbines on either side for a nameplate power output of 2MW.
It can generate enough clean, predictable electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 UK homes and offset approximately 2,200 tonnes of CO2 production per year.
In 2016 Orbital launched the SR2000. The SR2000 produced in excess of 3GWh of electricity over a 12-month continuous test programme. At the time this represented more power from a single turbine than had been generated cumulatively by the wave and tidal sector in Scotland over the 12 years prior to the launch of the SR2000.
The SR2000 was an industry breakthrough and validated both the engineering and conceptual benefits of Orbital’s technology and thereby enabled the pioneering vision for O2.