Wednesday, May 04, 2005

World's First OTEC facility - in India!

Brief introduction

OTEC stands for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion and is a process to generate energy by tapping the difference between the top layer of an ocean (which is exposed to the sun and is warm) and the lower layers (which are isolated from the sun and hence pretty cold). The idea is over a hundred years old, and so far no one has been able to make it economically viable (the French, Americans and Japanese have been trying hard though). If the Indian scientists and engineers succeed, there are billions of watts out there in the ocean just waiting to be tapped.

The Big Story

Via this link from this page at

The world's first ocean thermal energy conversion facility has been commissioned off the west coast of India. The 1 MW plant is housed on a 65 m barge anchored off the port of Tuticorin, and uses a ‘reverse’ refrigeration cycle that relies on the temperature differential of deep sea water at 7°C and surface water at 28 °C. The project was developed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology and Dempo Shipbuilding. Once stabilised, the process is self-sustaining and continues in an infinite loop, say officials, and the demonstration plant will collect data on all aspects of design and operation. The deep-sea water is collected through a pipeline that is 1.2 km long and the OTEC barge has one of the deepest single point mooring systems in the world.

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