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This giant ship has 10m blades that make electricity out of ocean currents

It's enough electricity to power 2000 homes!

Published on May 18, 2022 at 1:50PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Jul 1, 2022 at 5:19PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Kate Bain
An aerial view of the giant tidal turbine.

This is the world’s most powerful tidal turbine and it makes clean energy for 2000 houses.

It’s called the Orbital 02 2MW, which is a bit of a mouthful to say out loud.

How it works is the whole thing is towed out into the middle of a channel where the tides flow at top speeds.

The chains used to hold the tidal turbine in place
The tidal turbine took 15 years to develop.
The Orbital O2 on it's way out into the open water.
The Orbital O2 tidal turbine in water.
The Orbital O2 tidal turbine in water.
The chains used to hold the tidal turbine in place.
The tidal turbine took 15 years to develop.
The Orbital O2 on it’s way out into the open water.
The machine uses water currents to make power.
The Orbital O2 tidal turbine in water.
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The chains used to hold the tidal turbine in place.
The tidal turbine took 15 years to develop.
The Orbital O2 on it's way out into the open water.
The machine uses water currents to make power.
The Orbital O2 tidal turbine in water.
previous arrow
next arrow

It has two steel legs with 10-meter blades on the end like a plane’s propeller.

These are lowered into the water with hydraulics so they sit underwater.

The blades then spin with the tide to create electricity, basically like a wind turbine but with water.

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The energy then gets fed along a cable on the seabed floor, back to an electricity hub that can power homes nearby.

Where is the Orbital 02?

This giant machine is anchored in Fall of Warness, an area in the UK famous for powerful tides.

The water there rushes between small islands at three meters a second.

That’s quick, it’s faster than what a lot of people can run.

If you run a 5K that fast you’d finish in 27 minutes (which is not too bad at all).

READ MORE: The fastest plane in the world doesn’t need armor – it’s faster than missiles!

OK cool, so tell me more about this tidal turbine

So the welded steel hull is 72 meters long. That’s about the same distance as the wingspan of a 747 jumbo jet.

Some hardcore chains are used to hold it in place when it’s set up, otherwise, the tides would just wash it away.

These chains are so strong that each one could lift more than 50 double-decker buses.

All the engineering is incredible, but it’s the clean power the Orbital 02 makes that is the most important thing.

The energy can power 2000 homes in the area.

And it can offset about 2200 tonnes of C02 production a year.

The whole project has taken about 15 years of design and building to get to where it is now.

And it’s the type of machine that could really help change the way we think about electricity.

Imagine a future where your EV car is hooked up to power from a tidal turbine – that’s pretty cool.

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