The first significant Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion device was built by TRW in Hawaii in 1979.  OTEC is a platform floating on the ocean; pumping colder deep-sea water to the surface where the difference in temperature between deep-sea and surface tropical temperatures is used to boil and condense chemically engineered heat transfer fluids to run steam turbines.  Back in the 70’s the Department of Energy analyzed this technology. According to DOE findings then, OTEC didn’t “stack up” compared to conventional petroleum and nuclear technology.

Since then we have developed better heat transfer fluids, the cost of conventional energy has increased significantly and we’ve given little consideration to using the same infrastructure for more than one ocean energy technology like wave energy or mariculture or both.  By considering these hybrid approaches we are employing what Buckminster Fuller referred to as synergy, “The whole is unpredicted by the parts.”  Maybe it’s time for us to take a second look.

Image result for images of TRW Ocean Thermal Energy ConversionImage result for images of TRW Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

 

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To Contact Stephen Freelight: tawa@cox.net

 

 

 

Founding Sponsor 2011