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Orbital Marine Power O2

Kinetic Architecture Project

The Challenge

The O2 is Orbital Marine Power’s third-generation floating tidal turbine. A striking new addition to its design is the retractable legs that lower the 20-metre turbine blades below the surface of the water. The O2 can provide up to 2MW of clean sustainable energy – and is capable of meeting the annual electricity demand of up to 2,000 homes.

At 72 metres long and weighing 680 tonnes, O2 sits in the Orkney tidal currents – perfect for generating power, but also a real test of the system’s robust engineering. Orbital Marine Power approached DHX to design a bespoke, on-board hydraulic system with two objectives: to tension the O2’s seabed anchors, and to deploy and retract the turbine support legs.

The Solution

The Orbital O2 is the most powerful floating tidal turbine in the world, leading the charge for tidal power that will help the UK reach ‘net zero’ by 2050. Befitting such cutting-edge technology, DHX’s hydraulic solution complements the O2’s innovative design.

DHX’s engineers combined the simplicity of hydraulic flow division with the flexibility of a variable speed drive. A sprinkle of insightful problem-solving was also added to eliminate the need for external hydraulic hoses, improving reliability and simplifying maintenance.

Technical Details

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