How the world's most powerful tidal turbine generates power
4:20

How the world's most powerful tidal turbine generates power

Science
This massive tidal turbine is about to be activated so it can start supplying power to 1000s of homes in the United Kingdom. The idea of harnessing power from oceans and tides isn't exactly new. Depending on how you look at it. It's really been going on for centuries. Your basic waterwheel uses the force of Flowing water to generate power. But what I want to talk about today is a little more powerful than that. This is the O2 and the company behind it calls it the most powerful tidal turbine in the world. It was designed and built by a Scottish engineering firm called orbital. O2 is a floating turbine about the size of a 747 74 meters long with arms that reach 18 meters below the surface. The otu weighs in at about 680 tons. Those rotors are 20 meters each sweeping an area more than 600 square meters. Orbital just delivered the first otu to the Orkney Islands, which sit off the northeast coast of Scotland. If Orkney sounds familiar, you may have caught my video on Microsoft's underwater data center. That project also happened in these same waters. And that's not a coincidence. an organized blast to some of the biggest, strongest communist regimes in the world. And so it's a pretty good proving ground, it's pretty hostile see that surrounding that is orbital CEO Andrew Scott. He says the otoo can generate enough clean energy power around 2000 homes. So let's look at how it works. The main tube structure floats on the surface and is marred by an anchoring system. Inside that you'll find most of the electrical equipment. At the end of those legs I mentioned earlier are the rotors, which are pushed by the force of the times to generate power. And the blades can be reversed in pitch in between time cycles. That means they can generate power, whichever way the tide is moving. That produced power is sent through the massive cables back to shore and into the grid. So what about maintaining those underwater cells? This is where the O2 design becomes really cost-efficient was kind of a rule of thumb generally in offshore engineering, doing a job on shore costs. A dollar, of course to, maybe $100 to do offshore. And then it would probably cost you $10,000 to do it, at the boat on the sea bed. And that, is why those legs are built on a hinge- so they can be brought up on the surface. That way, they don't have to send divers down, to do any needed repairs. [UNKNOWN] is pretty simple as well. Scott says it can be towed to its site, by simple small pug bags, which are relatively inexpensive. So once the anchors and the mooring lines are in place, and the cables being laid, and again that can be done very simple and cheap, is that we can, I always kick myself for using the word just, isn't quite that simple but effectively, We can just go the turbine onto site connected to it and connect it to its grid, And away it goes. So let's talk about the advantages of using title streams to generate electricity. tides are packed with tons of potential energy. Some title streams are as much as 40 or 50 meters deep. Sea water is over 800 times the density of air So, moving water, four meters a second is massively energy dense. And because there's so much energy in such a small space, that's why the turbine blades can be so much smaller than the ones you'd find on a typical wind turbine. Another major benefit is that tides are predictable. Unlike solar and wind power. Tidal streams aren't affected by the elements. As long as the Moon is up in the sky, we know exactly how strong a tide will be at any given time and if you're asking how do we know this Tech works? Well orbital has already proven it. The company successfully tested, its prototype model in the Orkney islands. A few years ago, as exciting as this project is Scott admits that it's not going to be that silver bullet, And solve climate change. He says that the otoo is designed to work in conjunction to complement things like solar power and wind power. If you think that the otoo can be a viable solution to produce clean, renewable energy, Trump away from the comments. If you enjoyed this video, don't forget to like and subscribe. As always, thank you so much for watching. I'm Andy Altman, and I'll see you in the future. [MUSIC]

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