Safety seal manufacturer Roxtec has provided its waterproof sealing solution to the largest and most powerful tidal turbine in the world.
Manchester based Roxtec UK managing director Graham O’Hare said the deal with Scotrenewables Tidal Power (SRTP) involved Roxtec supplying the new SR2000 2MW floating turbine which is 65m long, 3m diameter and weighs 550 tons. Once launched later this year, the SR2000 will undergo an intensive demonstration programme 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.
Mr O’Hare said Roxtec, which exports to 70 countries, was delighted to be at the forefront of developing new technology for such an exciting project in the progressive tidal power industry. He said Roxtec’s super strong watertight seals have been installed to protect the turbine’s vital control systems from flooding and water ingress 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,” he said. “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 ten compartments inside the floating hull, and also cable sealing within the generator nacelles, and over an exposed section linked to topside power, control and communication equipment.
“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.”
Mr 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.”
Mr O’Hare said Roxtec is keen to win more work in the tidal sector building on its formidable track record in the renewable sector worldwide.
“Roxtec was chosen for this project because we are industry experts in sealing solutions for the renewables sector, where we have been used in over 40 offshore windfarms in Europe,” he 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 CPD (Continuing Professional Development) accredited seminars programme which examines sealing cables and pipes, covering legislation, industry standards and best practice.