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Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) as Base Load Renewable Power

[+] Author Affiliations
Laurence J. Shapiro

Burns and Roe Enterprises, Inc., Oradell, NJ

Paper No. POWER2014-32175, pp. V002T09A017; 13 pages
  • ASME 2014 Power Conference
  • Volume 2: Simple and Combined Cycles; Advanced Energy Systems and Renewables (Wind, Solar and Geothermal); Energy Water Nexus; Thermal Hydraulics and CFD; Nuclear Plant Design, Licensing and Construction; Performance Testing and Performance Test Codes; Student Paper Competition
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 28–31, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4609-4
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a form of renewable solar energy that has the capability to provide 24 hour base load, dispatchable power to electrical systems. This is a major advantage over solar PV and wind, which are intermittent and can have significant adverse effects on grid stability once penetration exceeds 10% of grid capacity. This paper describes OTEC technology, suitable areas for implementation, current levels of technology development, regulatory barriers, problems posed by intermittent power generation as well as how it is differentiated from intermittent renewable technologies and can enhance grid stability. The discussion of the OTEC technology will include the underlying thermodynamics, critical heat transfer requirements and efficiency issues associated with low temperature Rankine Cycle applications. The discussion of suitable areas for implementation will include required ocean temperatures, ocean topography, current fuel dependence and regulatory issues to be addressed. The discussion of problems posed by intermittent power generation on networks will include transient response of grids to sudden changes in production as well as ramp rate requirements as solar PV comes on and off line on a daily cycle. OTEC, as a base load generation source, will be discussed in terms of market factors and reserve requirements.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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