29 Aug '14, 3pm

Ocean Thermal Energy: Back From the Deep

Ocean Thermal Energy: Back From the Deep

Photo: Rachel Courtland Tower of Power: A system in Hawaii generates electricity by exploiting the temperature difference between the ocean’s cold depths and warm surface. This month, the Hawaii-based firm Makai Ocean Engineering will prepare to hoist a small turbine up a spare steel structure with a commanding view of the Pacific Ocean. There, with a flood of near-freezing water piped up from 1,000 meters below the surface, the company will put what will be the largest experimental ocean thermal energy plant through its paces. Ocean thermal energy conversion, or OTEC, is an approach to energy generation that harnesses the temperature difference between surface and deep-sea waters. It’s an energy dream that made inroads in the late 1970s and early 1980s, only to fizzle once oil prices fell. But there are some suggestions that it is again gaining momentum. Among OTEC’s attr...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/ocean-thermal-...

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