Teamwork for Tidal Turbine
Engineering Magazine October 2019
Orbital has announced a strategic contract with SKF for the supply of the fully integrated power trains on its upcoming O2 2MW floating tidal turbine, which will become the world’s most powerful tidal turbine when it enters operation at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney in 2020.
The landmark contract brings the industrial capabilities of SKF in behind Orbital Marine’s world leading technology. It also provides Orbital with access to the resources of one of Europe’s largest OEM’s. SKF has an annual turnover of over £6bn in global equipment sales and services.
This latest announcement builds on an existing agreement which sees the blade pitching hubs for the machine also being supplied by the Swedish headquartered engineering and manufacturing giant.
Orbital has been working with SKF for the supply of critical bearing and sealing components since 2011; in both its 250kW unit and the SR2000-2MW unit, which produced in excess of 3GWh of electricity over its initial 12-month continuous test programme at EMEC.
However, the commercial supply arrangement for the O2 2MW turbine is a departure from the historical component supply model to one where SKF is providing Orbital fully integrated drivetrain solutions covering both nacelles and pitching hubs for the world’s most advanced tidal turbine.
Orbital’s contract with SKF follows recent contract awards as part of the overall build programme for the O2; these include the O2 manufacturing contract to TEXO Group in Dundee and an anchors contract to FAUN Trackway in Anglesey.
The announcement also follows the Scottish Government’s award (in August 2019) of a £3.4m grant to Orbital Marine; this money is drawn from the Scottish Government’s £10m Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.