Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion – One Of The Latest Alternative Renewable Energy Resources

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion – One Of The Latest Alternative Renewable Energy Resources

Alternative renewable energy resources became popular due to the continuous improvement of other sources of energy. Ocean thermal energy is one of the energy sources that have the potential. This source of energy has long been identified in Europe.

Presently, it is only the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii which is the only facility plant in the World that is conducting experiments on ocean thermal energy conversion. The abbreviation for ocean thermal energy conversion is OTEC. With the discovery and development of OTEC, it has developed into a promising form of alternative energy source. However, OTEC still needs continued funding to support its researches and developments. Nonetheless, though how promising this form of alternative energy may seem, there is still a big obstacle that prevents scientists and researchers and that is the cost of the said form of alternative energy.

Basically, OTEC is environmentally friendly since it makes use of thermal energy that is clean burning and doesn’t add any pollutant in the environment. However, there is a great concern on how to build an effective and economical ocean thermal power plant. By putting up this OTEC plant, bad weather and earthquake pose a great threat to its operation.

To know more about this type of alternative energy, there are three kinds of OTEC discovered as of the present time. “Closed Cycle OTEC” operates under a low-boiling point liquid like propane to act as an intermediate fluid. The OTEC plant propels the warm sea water into the reaction chamber and boils the intermediate fluid. This force will be the one responsible for pushing the turbine of the engine.

On the other hand, the second type, “Open Cycle OTEC” is not that different from closed cycling, except in the Open Cycle there is no intermediate fluid. The sea water will serve as the driver of the turbine engine in this OTEC format. With the use of a sucking device, the warm sea water that is found on the surface of the ocean turned into a low-pressure vapor. The low-pressure vapor is then released in a specific area. The resulting force turned the turbines. The deep ocean’s cold water cools down the vapor.

Lastly, “Hybrid Cycle OTEC”, is the last form of OTEC but is presently still a theory. This third form focuses on maximizing the usage of thermal energy coming from the ocean’s water. There are actually two sub-theories to the theory of Hybrid Cycling. The primary theory involves using a closed cycling principle to generate electricity. This electricity is then used to suck the air out for open cycling. The secondary element is the integration and incorporation of two open cycling.