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Balltec Lifting Solution for OpenHydro Tidal Turbine

Balltec Engineered Solutions has designed and manufactured LiftLOK™ connectors as a primary component of the deployment and recovery system for the subsea turbines produced by Openhydro (a DCNS company).  The handling system will be used for deployment of the latest generation of the Open Centre Technology being produced by OpenHydro across projects in Europe and Atlantic Canada.

The methodology for installing and recovering the subsea turbine uses a catamaran barge to connect a frame to the vertices of a triangular subsea base using three Balltec LiftLOK™ connectors.  The LiftfLOK™ connectors are fixed to a sheave block which in turn are housed in the recovery frame that spaces the tools apart and guides each unit into the correct position to engage with three receptacles on the subsea base.  The turbine is mounted on the subsea base and the whole system is manoeuvred into place by a tug for deployment.

Jon Jackson, Balltec Engineering Manager said, “The project required full DNV certification to 2.22 Lifting Appliances. Due to the extreme environmental conditions of this project, i.e. shallow water and a short installation window, Balltec developed a fully automated system utilising integrated hydraulics, sensors and live data streaming.” 

Mark Cobbe, Project Engineer at Openhydro said, “Balltec lifting tools provide a simple, reliable and durable solution for heavy lifting. Their engineering and support service that comes with the products is among the best available with a drive to meet the customers’ needs… The proof is in the product.”


The Balltec lifting solution is part of the LiftLOK™ family of connectors and has a purely mechanical operational system that does not require any manual or remote ROV intervention during connection. Balltec engineered solutions, expertise and technology is increasingly being applied in the development of renewable energy projects.

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