My Work

My Biggest Fan

No not my Mum! this thing. Anyone guess what it is before I tell you? No it’s not a(insert your guess here). It is actually an undersea turbine that we installed just off the Island of Eday which is part of the Orkney Islands.

The idea is when the tide goes out it turns one blade and when the tide comes in….you got it, yeah it turns the other end generating electricity.

Now this wasn’t the first attempt at this, Rolls Royce built one and tried to install it in the same place, that one is still sitting on the dockside after a number of years, another company tried and failed miserably. The thing is, the tide is so strong, it has to be for this thing to work which of course makes it a challenge to put it on the seabed, you need a very powerful boat with a crane and two ROV’s and you still can only do the job between the tides, thats about two hours max. So after installing the base and counter weights(not pictured) in the exact position and heading it was time for the top, this went as smooth as the rest and the job was complete in just 7 days, that’s 14 ebb tides and that’s a record.

13 comments on “My Biggest Fan

  1. Now this is way cool!!!! I had no idea that this technology was being pursued. Is the power being used by the oil rigs? Take care and God Bless…..

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    • No the power is going straight to land, properly to a test station, this was a prototype so still in the testing stage.

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  2. OMG, I had no idea those things were that big! Interesting to hear the problems involved as I always thought it was a case of “OK, lets just plonk it down here”.

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  3. Absolutely fascinating. I learn so much from your blogs. Virginia

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  4. This is very interesting, I’ve been wondering about how this works. Congratulations on the installation, I can just imagine the time pressure issue!

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  5. Very cool image. Never saw something so big and near one of my favorite places, the Orkney Islands.

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  6. That’s new to me too. Nice idea to have someone in the shot to give a sense of scale.

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  7. T.J. Powell

    Those are some big blades

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