Hallin Marine Subsea International Ltd, a Superior Energy Services company, has successfully completed the installation of the world's largest rotor diameter subsea tidal turbine, the AK-1000. The 1 megawatt subsea tidal power turbine has been installed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.
Hallin was contracted by Atlantis Resources Corporation (ARC), one of the world's leading developers of tidal power technology, to provide specialist services as an experienced subsea contractor to plan, help design and install the huge, cutting edge turbine.
The AK-1000 turbine and supporting structure weighs 1,300 tonnes and was deployed in the harsh open ocean environment of the North Sea around the Orkney Islands. The twin rotor turbine has a rotor diameter of 18m, each blade being 7.8m in length, with a cone diameter of 2.4m. Overall the full structure is in excess of 25m height and was installed in depths of 35m.
By its nature, the site chosen for the generator has strong currents that are required to operate the rotor. This obviously caused major installation concerns when developing the work programme.
The tidal regime and vessel selection were the critical factors for the planning with a need to optimise the time available during slack water periods for the installation.
Hallin's project team's careful management of the construction planning took into account the tidal regimes and, in close cooperation with the design team, optimised the size of component parts, at the manufacturing stage, to ensure that the build assembly during installation was compatible with the time allowance during each period of slack water.
Tim Cornelius the Chief Executive Officer of ARC said: "I am very pleased with the successful installation of the AK 1000 in the EMEC test site. The partnership approach and support that Hallin has provided to ARC during the early development and planning stages of the project have resulted in yet another world first for the company. Hallin and its engineering division, led by Prospect, has been cornerstone contractors and has provided a reliable and professional service to us whilst working within the financial constraints typical for this stage of technology development. It is this combined approach that has given ARC the position of a leading developer in tidal technology."
Hallin's offshore installation manager Steve Offler said: "This has been a challenging installation project that started nearly 6 months ago at the planning stages. We worked inside the ARC project team to develop an installation plan to install over 1,300 tonnes of gravity base and subsea turbine in the harsh tidal environments of the EMEC test fields. The installation had its usual challenges and the ups and downs that go with installing any new technology but it would seem that we are one of the very few contractors to have installed the system successfully and within budget."
Hallin's Group Business Development Director, John Payne, said: "This is a very satisfying end to what has been over a year's engineering and planning work. Our project started when ARC awarded our engineering team, Prospect Asia, a small CFD project to evaluate the turbine blade test results. This was followed by the design contract and a blade efficiency development programme using Prospects mechanical, structural and design experience. This significant piece of work led to Hallin providing engineering and installation support by working within the ARC project team to plan and install the full tidal turbine. I am pleased to say that this has been a resounding success and we are pleased to have achieved our aim of delivering a world first as a partner to our client. This type of project is the very reason why Hallin acquired Prospect and demonstrates the Company's capabilities as an integrated subsea contractor."