Conceptual Design of an Open-Cycle OTEC Plant for the Production of Electricity and Fresh Water in a Pacific Island

by G. C. Nihous,
M. A. Syed,
L. A. Vega,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Ocean Energy Recovery

Abstract: A plant, based on the Open-Cycle Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) concept, was designed to supply electricity and fresh water to a Pacific Island community. In order to boost fresh water production, a second-stage flashing unit, driven by the residual thermal gradient of the OTEC seawater effluents, was incorporated. A 1.6 m diameter high density polyethylene (HDPE) Cold Water Pipe (CWP) was chosen as the design starting point. Other major design options include mixed-effluent discharge, spout evaporators, channel-type surface condensers and a single-flow axial turbine. Some important parameters, such as cold seawater intake depth and flow rate, condenser length and cooling-fluid velocity, were optimized. A net power output of 1.05 MWe and a fresh water production of 55 kg/s can be achieved.

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Fresh water | Electric power | Thermal power | Water supply | Water pipelines | Power plants | Islands

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