Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) was conceived of by the French engineer Jacques D’Arsonval in 1881. Too date, only one plant is employed anywhere in the world to pursue this goal and that is located at a laboratory in Hawaii. OTEC is a potential alternative energy source that needs to be funded and explored much more than it presently is but it is the expense that is the greatest problem. Energy from the ocean would be very clean burning and not add pollutants into the air but reducing costs is the main problem. Damages and other disturbing effects to our atmosphere brought about by the current technologies used is not something that OTEC plants can get rid of since they would need to be set up using those environmental issues, giving them the capacity to inflict same damage.
Three types of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion exist:
Propane which is an example of a low-boiling point liquid is what the “Closed Cycle OTEC” uses to act as an intermediate fluid. Warm sea water is pumped into the Ocean Thermal Energy Plants reaction chamber which heats up the gas (propane) to the point where it turns into a liquid. rotates large turbines. Cold sea water then reverses the process, reducing the temperature of the liquid, turning it back into a gas.
It is already taken that intermediate fluid is used in closed cycling and even though there is no such thing involved in the Open Cycle, still, “Open Cycle Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion” isn’t that poles apart from closed cycling. In this kind of OTEC format, the main driver of the engine’s turbine is the sea water itself. Warm surface water is converted into a low pressure vapor by in a vacuum. The low-pressure vapor is released in a focused area and it has the power to drive the turbine. The benefit of this system is that once the water has been used and electricity generated, salt is removed (as part of the process), then it is pumped to much lower depths where it cools down ready to be used as drinking water.
At the moment, the “Hybrid Cycle Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion” still remains just a theory. Bringing about the notion that we could make maximum usage of the ocean waters’ thermal energy is just the main purpose of the theory. Two sub-theories are actually contained in the theory of Hybrid Cycling. The first involves using a closed cycling to generate electricity which is, in turn, used to create the vacuum environment needed for open cycling. Using just one open cycle is not enough to create a massive amount of desalinated, potable water so the second component seeks to integrate two open cyclings that can produce twice as much as with just one.
In addition to being used for producing electricity, a closed cycle OTEC plant can be utilized for treating chemicals. Both the open cycling and close cycling kinds of the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plants can also be used to pump up cold deep sea water which can be utilized for refrigeration and air conditioning. The water around the plants during the process can also be used to help promote fish farming projects as well. This is a energy source that even after all this time is only just starting to be taken seriously and investigate and it is obvious that many benefits can be derived from the oceans this way.