Hempel, the world’s leading coatings supplier, has provided coatings to protect the Orbital O2 tidal power turbine, the world’s most powerful tidal power turbine. Hempel’s ambition is to become the world’s leading supplier of coating solutions for the renewable energy segment.
The O2 will be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) on the Orkney Islands in the UK. Around the Orkney Islands, tidal currents can reach more than four meters per second, making them some of the strongest in the world. To harness this energy, Orbital’s O2 consists of two 1MW turbines, which together create a rotor surface area of 600 m2 and can generate 2MW of clean, predictable power. O2 is capable of supplying enough energy to power around 2,000 UK homes.
“We are proud to be involved in the development of O2, an innovative project that can help make tidal power a viable energy source in the UK and abroad. We see huge potential in helping customers like Orbital put the world on a more sustainable path,” comments Nick Frowen, Managing Director of Hempel UK Ltd.
Hempel has been involved in the project since Orbital’s SR2000 turbine prototype was built in 2015. In addition to high-performance anti-corrosion coatings, Hempel has supplied Hempaguard X7 for the O2 turbine’s rotor blades. Hempaguard X7 was developed specifically to combat biofouling, such as algae and barnacles. On a ship, it keeps the hull smooth to reduce drag and lower fuel consumption and associated emissions. On the O2, it performs a similar function, keeping the rotor blades free of biofouling so they can deliver their full power with every rotation.
David Heal, Hempel’s Global Head of Renewable Energy, sees the collaboration with Orbital as an important element in Hempel’s drive to meet its goal of becoming a leader in renewable energy solutions:
“Our ambition is to double our energy business between now and 2025, with a particular focus on sustainability, to ensure that we are a leader in enabling all energy projects to maximize efficiency and minimize carbon emissions. By participating in a project as innovative as Orbital’s O2, we illustrate the value of a trusted partnership and demonstrate what our solutions are capable of to support greater sustainability in the energy sector.”
According to Andrew Scott, CEO of Orbital, collaboration with companies such as Hempel has been key to the development of O2. “We rely heavily on our supply chain to help deliver our pioneering technology in a way that exceeds expectations, and in that regard, we are delighted to continue our relationship with Hempel for our novel coating applications,” he says.
As the world’s leading provider of trusted coating solutions, Hempel is a global company with strong values, working with customers in the decorative, marine, infrastructure and energy sectors. Hempel’s factories, R&D centers and stocking locations are established in all regions.
At Hempel, we aim to shape a brighter future with sustainable coating solutions. We firmly believe that we will only succeed as a company if we place sustainability at our heart. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will strengthen our competitive position, make us more resilient and reduce our risk.
Hempel was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1915. The Hempel Foundation is the proud owner of the company, which ensures a strong economic foundation for the Hempel Group and supports cultural, social, humanitarian and scientific purposes worldwide.
Orbital Marine Power Ltd is an innovative UK technology company focused on the development of tidal energy turbine technology capable of producing a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy from tidal currents.
Orbital’s technology has been under continuous engineering development, including rigorous testing of systems at scale in both tank and offshore environments since the company was founded in 2002. The company currently employs 32 people and has offices in Orkney and Edinburgh.