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Old 04-02-2024, 08:24 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
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Default Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC)

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) uses the temperature difference between warm surface waters and cold deep waters in the ocean
to generate electricity.


Here's a breakdown of how it works:

The basic principle:

Heat Source: Sun heats the surface layer of the ocean in tropical regions, creating warm water (around 24C or 75F).

Heat Transfer: OTEC facilities use pipes to draw in this warm seawater.

Working Fluid: The warm seawater passes through a heat exchanger, where it vaporizes a low-boiling-point liquid like ammonia. This creates vapor with low pressure.

Turbine Power: The low-pressure vapor pushes through a turbine, causing it to spin and generate electricity.

Heat Sink: Deep ocean water, much colder (around 5C or 41F), is pumped up from the depths.

Condensation: This cold water is circulated around another heat exchanger, condensing the vapor back into a liquid.

Repeating the Cycle: The condensed liquid is then reused in the system, creating a closed loop.
Benefits of OTEC:

Renewable Energy Source: OTEC harnesses the sun's energy indirectly, making it a clean and renewable source of electricity.

Base Load Power: Unlike solar or wind power, OTEC is not dependent on sunlight or wind availability. The temperature difference in the ocean is relatively constant, allowing for consistent electricity generation.

Desalination Potential: Some OTEC systems can be designed to produce fresh water as a byproduct of the cooling process.

Challenges of OTEC:

Limited Locations: OTEC requires a temperature difference of at least 20C (36F) between surface and deep water, which limits its geographical feasibility to tropical areas.
Large-Scale Infrastructure: Building and maintaining OTEC plants can be expensive due to their size and the need for long pipes to reach deep, cold water.
Efficiency: The efficiency of OTEC plants is currently lower compared to other renewable energy sources like solar or wind.

Overall, OTEC is a promising technology with the potential to provide clean and reliable electricity in suitable locations. However, overcoming technical challenges and reducing costs are crucial for wider adoption.

Here are some additional points to consider:

OTEC is still in the development stage, with a few pilot plants operating around the world.
Research is ongoing to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of OTEC systems.
Some potential applications of OTEC include powering remote islands, providing clean water supplies, and supporting aquaculture (fish farming).

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

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Old 04-02-2024, 08:35 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
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Default OTEC technology -examples

OTEC technology is still under development, but there have been some interesting pilot plants around the world. Here are a couple of notable examples:

Makai Ocean Engineering's OTEC plant in Hawaii: This closed-cycle pilot plant started operations in 2011 and uses ammonia as the working fluid. It achieved a milestone in 2014 with the installation of a 105 kW turbine, making it the largest operational OTEC facility at the time (though not the record holder for most power generation). It continues to be a valuable testbed for OTEC research.

Saga University OTEC plant in Japan: This pilot plant utilizes a different approach, employing an open-cycle OTEC system. Open-cycle systems use the warm seawater directly to boil a low-boiling-point fluid, like propane, to generate electricity. This plant achieved a record for net power generation of 120 kW back in 1981.

It's important to note that finding comprehensive and up-to-date information on all OTEC pilot plants can be challenging. These are just a couple of prominent examples, and there may be other facilities in development or that have operated in the past.

Here are some resources you can explore for further information:

National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) - OTEC Projects: (https://netl.doe.gov/etd) This website from the US Department of Energy provides information on past OTEC research projects, including some pilot plants.

Ocean Energy Magazine - OTEC Power Plants: (https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/edu/l...al_energy.html) This article offers a brief overview of OTEC technology and mentions a few historical pilot plants.

Some diagrams

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

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