Select Page

Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC)

Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a term used to describe the power generation making use of the temperature difference between deep, cold seawater and warmer near-surface water. A wave carries both gravitational and kinetic potential energy. The total energy of a wave is documented, roughly on two factors: its height (H) and it is period (T). The power carried by the wave is proportional to H2 and to T and is usually given in Watt per metre of the incident wavefront. This means that coastline of Western Europe is adored, with an average wave climate of approximately 50 kW of power for each metre width of the wavefront. The overall resource (around 2 TW) is of the same order of magnitude as the world’s electricity consumption. A conventional estimate is possible to extract 10–25 % of this intro clean energy.

Furthermore, the possibilities to increase energy efficiency by adding other methods since waves flaps, floats, ramps and funnels. This makes it possible making devices as cylinders, airbags, roll-coaster. Devices can be under the sea, float at the surface, or anywhere, constructed to face forward, backward, sideways or alongside or broadside.

Environmental benefits

The greatest benefit of feeding wave energy is that the devices themselves do not produce any greenhouse gases (while operating), harmful pollutant or wastes when converting into electrical energy. When under normal conditions farming waves energy is as other renewable sources, is virtually non-polluting, with significant benefits in the form of mitigating climate change, creating work and benefits exploring the seas from a bio perspective. The visual pollution from wave energy is close to zero as installations undersea (several installations can be converted from oil offshore industry) not installed where people live and work such as windmill farms.

Another great advantage many countries that already have technology and experience building devices from oil-offshore industries such as Brazil, Mexico, UK, and Norway. Norway with the second longest coastline (Canada longest) stretching 100 915 km 2, already oil installations and pipelines infrastructure working. In a near-future perspective, these installations need to be deconstructed or reconstructed. With future large investments in clean wave energy other industries at sea (fish-farming) will benefit from research already exist now and in near future.

Sources and useful information

  • Ocean Wave Energy Current Status and Future Perspectives by João Cruz, Garrard Hassan and Partners Limited. Published Springer 2008

%d bloggers like this: