Electricity from the Sea

by Frank McHale, (M.ASCE), Proj. Mgr.; Dillingham/Hawaiian Dredging, Honolulu, Hawaii,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1980, Vol. 50, Issue 6, Pg. 73-75

Document Type: Feature article


In Hawaii, the state, Lockheed Space and Missile Co. and Dillingham Corp. have conceived, designed and built the first prototype ocean thermal energy conversion plant. OTEC uses the 40°F temperature difference between the surface and bottom of the ocean to vaporize ammonia which drives a turbine-generator and is than condensed to begin a new cycle. The prototype plant produces 50 kw for a net gain of 10 kw. Also included is a brief overview of the state of OTEC in the U.S.

Subject Headings: Electric power | Seas and oceans | Ocean engineering | Thermal power | Sustainable development | Energy conversion | Power plants | Temperature effects | Hawaii | United States

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