Hempel Coatings to Protect Orbital O2 Tidal Energy Turbine

April 14, 2021
Image credit: Hempel

Image credit: Hempel

Coatings specialist Hempel said it has provided coatings to protect the Orbital O2 tidal energy turbine – dubbed the world’s most powerful tidal turbine. 

O2 is set to operate at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in the Orkney Islands in the UK. Around the islands of Orkney, tidal currents can reach over four meters per second, making them some of the strongest in the world. To harness this energy, Orbital’s O2 comprises two 1MW turbines, which together create a 600 m2 rotor area and can generate 2MW of clean, predictable energy. O2 will be capable of supplying enough energy to power around 2,000 UK homes.

Nick Frowen, Managing Director at Hempel UK Ltd: "We’re proud to be playing a part in the development of the O2, a ground-breaking project with the potential to help make tidal energy a viable source of energy in the UK and overseas. We see enormous potential in helping customers like Orbital put the world on a more sustainable path."

Hempel has been involved in the project since Orbital’s prototype SR2000 turbine was built in 2015. 

"As well as high-performance anti-corrosion coatings, Hempel has supplied Hempaguard X7 for the O2’s turbine rotor blades. Hempaguard X7 was developed specifically to combat biofouling, such as algae and barnacles. On a ship, it keeps the vessel’s hull smooth to reduce drag and lower fuel consumption and associated emissions. On the O2, it performs a similar role, keeping the rotor blades free from biofouling so they can deliver full power with each rotation," Hempel said.Image credit: Hempel

David Heal, Global Head of Renewable Energy in Hempel, sees the collaboration with Orbital as an important element in Hempel’s effort to meet its goal of becoming the leader in renewable energy solutions: "Our ambition is to double our energy business by 2025 with particular focus on sustainability to ensure we are leading the way in enabling all energy projects to maximize efficiency and minimise carbon emissions. By participating in a project as ground-breaking as Orbital’s O2, we illustrate the value of a trusted partner and we demonstrate what our solutions are capable of in supporting increased sustainability for the energy sector.”Image credit: Hempel

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