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Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Bachelor of Technology IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

Submitted By ABHISHEK TULI (1209307)

Department of Mechanical Engineering




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ABSTRACT: OTEC, or Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, is an energy technology that converts solar radiation to electric power. OTEC systems use the ocean's natural thermal gradientthe fact that the ocean's layers of water have different temperatures to drive a power-producing cycle. As long as the temperature between the warm surface water and the cold deep water differs by about 20C (36F), an OTEC system can produce a significant amount of power, with little impact on the surrounding environment. The distinctive feature of OTEC energy systems is that the end products include not only energy in the form of electricity, but several other synergistic products. The principle design objective was to minimize plan cost by minimizing plant mass, and taking maximum advantage of minimal warm and cold water flows. Power is Converted to high voltage DC, and is cabled to shore for conversion to AC and integration into the local power distribution network.The oceans are thus a vast renewable resource, with the potential to help us produce billions of watts of electric power. Marine renewable energies offer alternatives to fossil and nuclear energies. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is one of these alternatives, which also provides a range of additional products - food, air conditioning, water, pharmaceuticals included - hence the term deep ocean water applications (DOWA). It is also, unusually, a base-load system. Applications are in both developed and developing nations, but with particular application to island locations. Economics have significantly improved, due to advances in both design and materials, and OTEC/DOWA has many environmental advantages. Small (up to 1 MW) experimental units have been designed and built, and performance has been measured. These results confirm the growing practicality of OTEC/DOWA, and the next requirement is design, construction and operation of a representative scale demonstrator, typically 5 10 MW, to evaluate the feasibility of full scale production systems.

CHAPTER-1 INTRODUCTION Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) uses the temperature difference between cooler deep and warmer shallow or surface ocean waters to run a heat engine and produce useful work, usually in the form of electricity. However, the temperature differential is small and this impacts the economic feasibility of ocean thermal energy for electricity generation. A heat engine gives greater efficiency and power when run with a large temperature difference. In the oceans the temperature difference between surface and deep water is greatest in the tropics, although still a modest 20 to 25 C. It is therefore in the tropics that OTEC offers the greatest possibilities. OTEC has the potential to offer global amounts of energy that are 10 to 100 times greater than other ocean energy options such as wave power. OTEC plants can operate continuously providing a base load supply for an electrical power generation system. The main technical challenge of OTEC is to generate significant amounts of power efficiently from small temperature differences. It is still considered an emerging technology. Early OTEC systems were of 1 to 3 percent thermally efficient, well below the theoretical maximum for this temperature difference of between 6 and 7 percent. Current designs are expected to be closer to the maximum. The first operational system was built in Cuba in 1930 and generated 22 kW. Modern designs allow performance approaching the theoretical maximum Carnot efficiency and the largest built in 1999 by the USA generated 250 kW. The most commonly used heat cycle for OTEC is the Rankine cycle using a low-pressure turbine. Systems may be either closed-cycle or open-cycle. Closed-cycle engines use a working fluids that are typically thought of as refrigerants such asammonia or R-134a. Open-cycle engines use vapour from the seawater itself as the working fluid. OTEC can also supply quantities of cold water as a by-product . This can be used for air conditioning and refrigeration and the fertile deep ocean water can feed biological technologies. Another by-product is fresh water distilled from the sea.


Attempts to develop and refine OTEC technology started in the 1880s. In 1881, Jacques Arsene d'Arsonval, a French physicist, proposed tapping the thermal energy of the ocean. D'Arsonval's student, Georges Claude, built the first OTEC plant, in Matanzas, Cuba in 1930. The system generated 22 kW of electricity with a low-pressure turbine. In 1931, Nikola Tesla released "Our Future Motive Power", which described such a system. Tesla ultimately concluded that the scale of engineering required made it impractical for large scale development. In 1935, Claude constructed a plant aboard a 10,000-ton cargo vessel moored off the coast of Brazil. Weather and waves destroyed it before it could generate net power. (Net power is the amount of power generated after subtracting power needed to run the system). In 1956, French scientists designed a 3 MW plant for Abidjan, Cte d'Ivoire. The plant was never completed, because new finds of large amounts of cheap petroleum made it uneconomical. In 1962, J. Hilbert Anderson and James H. Anderson, Jr. focused on increasing component efficiency. They patented their new "closed cycle" design in 1967. Japan is a major contributor to the development of the technology. Beginning in 1970 the Tokyo Electric Power Company successfully built and deployed a 100 kW closed-cycle OTEC plant on the island of Nauru. The plant became operational on 14 October 1981, producing about 120 kW of electricity; 90 kW was used to power the plant and the remaining electricity was used to power a school and other places. This set a world record for power output from an OTEC system where the power was sent to a real power grid. Currently, the Institute of Ocean Energy, Saga University, is the leader and focuses on the power cycle and many of the secondary benefits. The United States became involved in 1974, establishing the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority at Keahole Point on the Kona coast of Hawaii. Hawaii is the best US OTEC location, due to its warm surface water, access to very deep, very cold water, and high electricity costs. The laboratory has become a leading test facility for OTEC technology. India built a one-MW floating OTEC pilot plant near Tamil Nadu, and its government continues to sponsor research.

CHAPTER-3 CYCLE TYPES Cold seawater is an integral part of each of the three types of OTEC systems: closed-cycle, open-cycle, and hybrid. To operate, the cold seawater must be brought to the surface. The primary approaches are active pumping and desalination. Desalinating seawater near the sea floor lowers its density, which causes it to rise to the surface. The alternative to costly pipes to bring condensing cold water to the surface is to pump vaporized low boiling point fluid into the depths to be condensed, thus reducing pumping volumes and reducing technical and environmental problems and lowering costs.


Fig. 3.1 Diagram of a closed cycle OTEC plant

Closed-cycle systems use fluid with a low boiling point, such as ammonia, to power a turbine to generate electricity. Warm surface seawater is pumped through a heat exchanger to vaporize the fluid. The expanding vapour turns the turbo-generator. Cold water, pumped through a second heat exchanger, condenses the vapour into a liquid, which is then recycled through the system. In 1979, the Natural Energy Laboratory and several private-sector partners developed the "mini OTEC" experiment, which achieved the first successful at-sea production of net electrical power from closed-cycle OTEC. The mini OTEC vessel was moored 1.5 miles (2.4 km) off the Hawaiian coast and produced enough net electricity to illuminate the ship's light bulbs and run its computers and television.

Open Cycle:

Fig. 3.2 Diagram of Open cycle OTEC plant. Open-cycle OTEC uses warm surface water directly to make electricity. Placing warm seawater in a lowpressure container causes it to boil. In some schemes, the expanding steam drives a low-pressure turbine attached to an electrical generator. The steam, which has left its salt and other contaminants in the lowpressure container, is pure fresh water. It is condensed into a liquid by exposure to cold temperatures from deep-ocean water. This method produces desalinized fresh water, suitable fordrinking water or irrigation. In other schemes, the rising steam is used in a gas lift technique of lifting water to significant heights. Depending on the embodiment, such steam lift pump techniques generate power from a hydroelectric turbine either before or after the pump is used. In 1984, the Solar Energy Research Institute (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) developed a vertical-spout evaporator to convert warm seawater into low-pressure steam for open-cycle plants. Conversion efficiencies were as high as 97% for seawater-to-steam conversion (overall efficiency using a vertical-spout evaporator would still only be a few per cent). In May 1993, an open-cycle OTEC plant at Keahole Point, Hawaii, produced 50,000 watts of electricity during a net power-producing experiment.This broke the record of 40 kW set by a Japanese system in 1982.


Fig. 3.3 Diagram of Hybrid cycle OTEC plant.

A hybrid cycle combines the features of the closed- and open-cycle systems. In a hybrid, warm seawater enters a vacuum chamber and is flash-evaporated, similar to the open-cycle evaporation process. The steam vaporizes the ammonia working fluid of a closed-cycle loop on the other side of an ammonia vaporizer. The vaporized fluid then drives a turbine to produce electricity. The steam condenses within the heat exchanger and provides desalinated water.

Working fluids: A popular choice of working fluid is ammonia, which has superior transport properties, easy availability, and low cost. Ammonia, however, is toxic and flammable. Fluorinated carbons such as CFCs and HCFCs are not toxic or flammable, but they contribute to ozone layer depletion. Hydrocarbons too are good candidates, but they are highly flammable; in addition, this would create competition for use of them directly as fuels. The power plant size is dependent upon the vapour pressure of the working fluid.

CHAPTER-4 RELATED ACTIVITIES OTEC has uses other than power production. Air conditioning: The 41 F (5 C) cold seawater made available by an OTEC system creates an opportunity to provide large amounts of cooling to operations near the plant. The water can be used in chilled-water coils to provide airconditioning for buildings. It is estimated that a pipe 1 foot (0.30 m) in diameter can deliver 4,700 gallons per minute of water. Water at 43 F (6 C) could provide more than enough air-conditioning for a large building. Operating 8,000 hours per year in lieu of electrical conditioning selling for 5-10 per kilowatt-hour, it would save $200,000-$400,000 in energy bills annually. The InterContinental Resort and Thalasso-Spa on the island of Bora Bora uses an OTEC system to aircondition its buildings. The system passes seawater through a heat exchanger where it cools freshwater in a closed loop system. This freshwater is then pumped to buildings and directly cools the air. Chilled-soil agriculture: OTEC technology supports chilled-soil agriculture. When cold seawater flows through underground pipes, it chills the surrounding soil. The temperature difference between roots in the cool soil and leaves in the warm air allows plants that evolved in temperate climates to be grown in the subtropics. Dr. John P. Craven, Dr. Jack Davidson and Richard Bailey patented this process and demonstrated it at a research facility at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA). The research facility demonstrated that more than 100 different crops can be grown using this system. Many normally could not survive in Hawaii or at Keahole Point. Aquaculture: Aquaculture is the best-known byproduct, because it reduces the financial and energy costs of pumping large volumes of water from the deep ocean. Deep ocean water contains high concentrations of essential nutrients that are depleted in surface waters due to biological consumption. This "artificial upwelling" mimics the natural upwellings that are responsible for fertilizing and supporting the world's largest marine ecosystems, and the largest densities of life on the planet. Cold-water delicacies, such as salmon and lobster, thrive in this nutrient-rich, deep, seawater. Microalgae such as Spirulina, a health food supplement, also can be cultivated. Deep-ocean water can be combined with surface water to deliver water at an optimal temperature. Non-native species such as Salmon, lobster, abalone, trout, oysters, and clams can be raised in pools supplied by OTEC-pumped water. This extends the variety of fresh seafood products available for nearby markets. Such low-cost refrigeration can be used to maintain the quality of harvested fish, which deteriorate quickly in warm tropical regions. Desalination: Desalinated water can be produced in open- or hybrid-cycle plants using surface condensers to turn evaporated seawater into potable water. System analysis indicates that a 2-megawatt plant could produce about 4,300 cubic metres (150,000 cu ft) of desalinated water each day. Another system patented by Richard Bailey creates condensate water by regulating deep ocean water flow through surface condensers correlating with fluctuating dew-point temperatures. This condensation system uses no incremental energy and has no moving parts.

Hydrogen production: Hydrogen can be produced via electrolysis using OTEC electricity. Generated steam with electrolyte compounds added to improve efficiency is a relatively pure medium for hydrogen production. OTEC can be scaled to generate large quantities of hydrogen. The main challenge is cost relative to other energy sources and fuels. Mineral extraction: The ocean contains 57 trace elements in salts and other forms and dissolved in solution. In the past, most economic analyses concluded that mining the ocean for trace elements would be unprofitable, in part because of the energy required to pump the water..


OTEC has tremendous potential to supply the worlds energy. It is estimated that, in an annual basis, the amount solar energy absorbed by the oceans is equivalent to at least 4000 times the amount presently consumed by humans. For an OTEC efficiency of 3 percent, in converting ocean thermal energy to electricity, we would need less than 1 percent of this renewable energy to satisfy all of our desires for energy.

OTEC offers one of the most compassionate power production technologies, since the handling of hazardous substances is limited to the working fluid (e.g., ammonia), and no noxious by-products are generated. Through adequate planning and coordination with the local community, recreational assets near an OTEC site may be enhanced. OTEC is capital-intensive, and the very first plants will most probably be small requiring a substantial capital investment. Given the relatively low cost of crude oil and of fossil fuels in general, the development of OTEC technologies is likely to be promoted by government agencies. Conventional power plants pollute the environment more than an OTEC plant would and, as long as the sun heats the oceans, the fuel for OTEC is unlimited and free.


RESEARCH PAPER Electricity Generation by the Ocean Thermal Energy Ahmad Etemadi, Arash Emdadi, Orang AsefAfshar, Yunus Emami Urmia University of Technology, Urmia, Iran. Abstract With considering the increasing of global temperature, and also the concern of global climate change, many policy makers worldwide have been accepted the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in particular from the power industries. Energy resource use is one of the most important and Contentious issues of our time. The ocean provides a vast source of potential energy resources. Of the total solar radiation, oceans are the largest collectors, accumulating 250 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to an estimate. This vast amount of solar energy absorbed in the oceans can be converted into electricity by a process known as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, popularly known as OTEC. OTEC makes use of the difference in temperatures of warm surface water (22 27 C) and very cold water at a depth of 1 km (47 C). an open-cycle plant based on creating a rising mixture of water and steam bubbles or foam, which is separated at a height above sea-level, such that the water can be used to drive a turbine rotor. In closed-cycle OTEC, warm seawater heats a working fluid with a low boiling point, such as ammonia, and the ammonia vapor turns a turbine, which drives a generator. This paper discusses about the ocean energy, ocean thermal energy potential, ocean thermal energy conversion by the close, open and hybrid cycles, environmental impact and special conditions of these process. 1. Introduction The most plentiful renewable energy source in our planet by far is solar radiation: 170,000 TW fall on Earth. Harvesting this energy is difficult because of its dilute and erratic nature. Large collecting areas and large storage capacities are needed, two requirements satisfied by the tropical oceans. Oceans cover 71% of Earths surface. In the tropics, they absorb sunlight, and the top layers heat up to some 25C. Warm surface waters from the equatorial belt flow poleward, melting both the arctic and the antarctic ice. Ocean and marine energy refers to various forms of renewable electric energy harnessed from the ocean. There are two primary types of ocean energy: mechanical and thermal. The rotation of the earth and the moons gravitational pull create mechanical forces.[1] The rotation of the earth creates wind on the ocean surface that forms waves, while the gravitational pull of the moon creates coastal tides and currents. Thermal energy is derived from the sun, which heats the surface of the ocean while the depths remain colder. This temperature difference allows energy to be captured and converted to electric power. With fossil fuel prices increasing and expected to stay high in the future, the search for alternative energy resources is once again on the forefront. In the past few years, a growing interest emerged in ocean energy, and progress is being made to bring ocean energy technologies from development stages to the commercial market. In 1881, a French physicist named Jacques Arsene dArsonval discovered the concept of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). His student, Georges Claude, built the first open cycle OTEC plant in Cuba in 1930. With this technology, temperature gradient from the ocean surface to deeper waters converts heat energy to electricity. It functions best when there is a temperature difference of at least 20C (36F). Ocean thermal energy conversion, or OTEC, uses ocean temperature differences from the surface to depths lower than 1,000 meters, to extract energy. A temperature difference of only 20C (36F) can yield usable energy. Fig. 1 shows the typical ocean temperature profile in the tropics.

OTEC produces electricity from the natural thermal gradient of the ocean, using the heat stored in warm surface water to create steam to drive a turbine, while pumping cold, deep water to the surface to recondense the steam. In closed-cycle OTEC, warm seawater heats a working fluid with a low boiling point, such as ammonia, and the ammonia vapor turns a turbine, which drives a generator. The vapor is then Condensed by the cold water and cycled back through the system. In an open-cycle plant, warm seawater from the surface is pumped into a vacuum chamber where it is flash evaporated, and the resulting steam drives the turbine. Cold seawater is then brought to the surface and used to condense the steam into water,

which is returned to the environment. Hybrid plants, combining benefits of the two systems, would use closed-cycle generation combined with a second-stage flash evaporator to desalinate water . OTEC plants can either be built onshore or on offshore floating platforms. Floating platforms could be larger and do not require the use of valuable coastal land, but incur the added expense and impact of transporting energy to the shore. Energy can be transported via seafloor cable, a welldeveloped. but costly technology that impacts the environment by disrupting seafloor communities, or stored in the form of chemical energy as hydrogen, ammonia or methanol. Plants hips used to produce hydrogen, ammonia or methanol wouldgraze the ocean slowly, store products for about a month, then transfer products to a tanker that would take the products to shore . It is possible to derive ancillary benefits from both the warm and cold water cycled through OTEC plants. In an open-cycle plant, the warm water, after being vaporized, can be recondensed while keeping separated from the cold seawater, leaving behind the salt and providing a source of desalinated water fresh enough for municipal or agricultural use. The cold-water effluent can be applied to mariculture (the cultivation of marine organisms such as algae, fish, and shellfish), air conditioning and other applications. At the National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELHA), once the locus of OTEC research and pilot programs, there are no longer any functioning, net energy-producing OTEC plants, but research into uses for deep seawater pumped to the surface using OTEC technology continues. Cold, deep seawater brought up by OTEC pipes is nutrient-rich-parasite and free, and can be pumped into onshore ponds producing algae or other products in a controlled system At NELHA, private companies have already profited from raising lobsters, flounder, and high-protein algae in mariculture ponds fed by the cold water. Additionally, this cold water has been used to grow temperate crops such as strawberries in Hawaiis tropical climate [4].Air conditioning and industrial cooling may be the most lucrative of all ancillary benefits of OTEC plants .Currently, both of the two main buildings at the NELHA lab are effectively air conditioned by cold seawater pumped through OTEC pipes. 2. Open-Cycle OTEC In an open-cycle plant, warm seawater from the surface is pumped into a vacuum chamber where it is flash evaporated, and the resulting steam drives the turbine. Cold seawater is then brought to the surface and used to condense the steam into water, which is returned to the environment. [7] The open cycle consists of the following steps: Flash evaporation of a fraction of the warm seawater by reduction of pressure below the saturation value corresponding to its temperature. Expansion of the vapor through a turbine to generate power. Heat transfer to the cold seawater thermal sink resulting in condensation of the working fluid. Compression of the non-condensable gases (air released from the seawater streams at the low operating pressure) to pressures required to discharge them from the system. 3. Closed-Cycle OTEC In closed-cycle OTEC, warm seawater heats a working fluid with a low boiling point, such as ammonia, and the ammonia vapor turns a turbine, which drives a generator. The vapour is then condensed by the cold water and cycled back through the system

Fig.5.1. Closed-Cycle OTEC Flow Diagram


The closed-cycle OTEC power plant was the first OTEC cycle proposed by DArsonval in 1881. This cycle uses a working fluid with a low-boiling point, usually propane or ammonia, in a closed flow path (Takahashi and Trenka, 1996). The working fluid is pumped into the evaporator where it is vaporized and in turn moves a turbine. Closed-cycle plants operate on a Rankine cycle. The first stage of this cycle is referred to as isentropic expansion, which occurs in the steam turbine. Isobaric heat rejection in the condenser follows. This stage the water vapor becomes a liquid and therefore the entropy is decreased. The next stage is the isentropic compression in the pump (Takahashi and Trenka, 1996). During this step, the temperature increases due to the higher pressure. The boiler then supplies isobaric heat causing the working fluid to vaporize. In an OTEC system the warm sea water would be pumped into the evaporator where the liquid ammonia would be pressurized. This pressure causes the ammonia to boil or become vapour. This works due to the ideal gas law that states that the temperature is directly proportional to the pressure; therefore if the pressure increases in a system, the temperature does too. The vapor ammonia then expands by traveling through a turbine. This turns the turbine making electricity. The ammonia vapor pressure at the outlet of the turbine is 7oC higher than the cold seawater temperature. The cold seawater is therefore brought up from the depths where heat exchange occurs and ammonia vapor is changed back into a liquid. The liquid ammonia is then pressurized by a pump started the cycle once more. Rankine cycles, in theory, are able to produce non-zero net power due to the fact that less energy is to increase the pressure of a liquid then is able to be recovered when the same fluid expands as a vapor. It is for this reason that phase changes are essential when producing energy this way. The advantages of using a closed-cycle system are that it is more compact then an open-cycle system and can be designed to produce the same amount of power. The closed-cycle can also be designed using already existing turbo machinery and heat exchanger designs. [8] The operation of a closed-cycle OTEC plant, using anhydrous ammonia as the working fluid, is modeled with the saturated Rankine cycle. Fig. 4 shows a simplified flow diagram of the CC-OTEC cycle. The analysis of the cycle is straightforward.



1) 2) 3) 4) Ahmad Etemadi, Arash Emdadi, Orang AsefAfshar, Yunus Emami, Electricity Generation by the Ocean Thermal Energy,Urmia University of Technology, Urmia, Iran