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Ocean thermal energy conversion: Its promise as a total resource system

Patrick K. Takahashi and Andrew Trenka

Energy, 1992, vol. 17, issue 7, 657-668

Abstract: Technological advances on the century-old ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) concept have advanced this renewable energy system to the point at which power-plant construction on remote islands is close at hand. Research and development efforts on OTEC have introduced new applications for an essential element of the system, namely, the deep, cold, nutrient-rich, pathogen-free sea water. These new applications, which include mariculture, fresh water production, and air-conditioning, can be combined with electricity generation to expand the economic output of OTEC systems and thus improve the prospects for commercialization on a scale that is particularly suitable for Hawaii and other islands in the Pacific. In this paper, we provide a general description of the OTEC concept, briefly summarize its research history and progress to date, and then outline the new applications of OTEC which are expanding its potential as a total resource system.

Date: 1992
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