Turbines head underwater

Roxtec’s watertight seals have been installed on the SR2000 tidal turbine to protect it's vital control systems from flooding.

Roxtec’s watertight seals have been installed on Scotrenewables Tidal Power’s SR2000 turbine to protect its control systems from water damage and flooding.

Safety seal manufacturer Roxtec has provided its waterproof sealing solution to what’s currently the largest, most powerful tidal turbine in the world. The deal involved Roxtec supplying its sealing solution to Scotrenewables Tidal Power’s SR2000 two-megawatt (MW) floating turbine. According to Graham O’Hare, managing director of Manchester-based Roxtec UK, the SR2000 is 65 meters long, three meters in diameter, and weighs in at 550 tons.

Once launched later this year, the SR2000 will undergo an intensive demonstration program at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), following which it will be offered to the global tidal industry as a technology with the lowest cost of energy in the sector. O’Hare maintained that Roxtec, which exports to 70 countries, was delighted to be at the forefront of developing new technology for such an innovative project in the tidal power industry. He added that Roxtec’s strong, watertight seals have been installed to protect the turbine’s vital control systems from flooding and water ingress for over a 20-year period.

“The turbine was built in Orkney and at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. And, Roxtec provided support at both locations throughout the project,” O’Hare explained. We have sealed a high volume of multiple electrical control and instrumentation cables of various sizes on the turbine through every bulkhead between sections. Importantly, we could offer the highest standards of certified waterproof bulkhead seals. The cabling in the turbine is extensive, and runs its entire length through 10 compartments inside the floating hulland also cable sealing within the generator nacelles, and over an exposed section linked to topside power, control, and communication equipment.”

The SR2000 turbine at full assembly is 65 meters long, three meters in diameter, and weighs in at 550 tons.

The SR2000 turbine, at full assembly, is 65 meters long and three meters in diameter. It weighs 550 tons.

O’Hare continued: “Drawing on our many years’ experience in the marine and renewables’ sector we have been able to provide support throughout the process, from planning to installation to ongoing maintenance. Going forward our seals are designed to be flexible with easy maintenance access and spare capacity for upgrades. This is important because the project is still in test phase and changes may be required. But, our sealing solutions have been designed so changes can be carried out easily at low-cost. This is in stark contrast to many traditional seals which can be onerous, costly, and time-consuming to maintain and upgrade.”

O’Hare said during the planning phase Scotrenewables designers were able to deploy Roxtec’s innovative Transit Designer computer software. “Our software is a highly effective tool for engineers wanting to save time,” he said. “It is the most advanced of its kind on the market and enabled their team to produce detailed drawings, quickly and simply, of cable and pipe locations, which makes the installation process faster.”

Roxtec is keen to win more work in the tidal sector, building on its track-record in the renewable sector worldwide.

“Roxtec was chosen for this project because we are industry leaders in sealing solutions for the renewables’ sector, where we have been used in over 40 offshore windfarms in Europe,” O’Hare said. “Customers have confidence in our meticulous engineering and testing of sealing products, which are the best in the world at helping protect people and assets from a range of hazards. We have a fantastic product and service to offer the tidal power and wider renewables’ industry.”

Roxtec is also able to pass on its expertise via its new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited seminars program, which examines sealing cables and pipes, covering legislation, industry standards, and best practices.

Roxtec UK

Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited (SRTP)

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