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Wave Energy:

Theoretical Energy Available
Calculation of period and phase velocity of waves
wave power systems
submerged devices.

Ocean Thermal Energy :

Heat Exchangers
Pumping requirements
Practical Considerations.
It is a heat engine with a low boiling point
‘working fluid’, e.g. ammonia, operating
between the ‘cold’ temperature TC of the water
pumped up from substantial depth and the ‘hot’
temperature, Th of the surface water.
The working fluid circulates in a closed cycle,
accepting heat from the warm water and
discharging it to the cold water through heat
exchangers. As the fluid expands, it drives a
turbine, which in turn drives an electricity
In an idealised system with perfect heat
exchangers, volume flow Q of warm water
passes into the system at temperature Th and
leaves at TC

The power given up from the warm water in such

an ideal system
Heat exchangers

•Need to be relatively large to provide sufficient area for heat

transfer at low temperature difference, and are therefore
expensive (perhaps 50% of total costs).

•In calculating the ideal output power P1, we have assumed

perfect heat transfer between the ocean waters and the
working fluid.

•In practice, there is significant thermal resistance, even with

the best available heat exchangers and with chemical
‘cleaning’ to lessen internal biofouling.
Pumping requirements

•Work is required to move large quantities of hot water, cold

water and working fluid around the system against friction.

•This will have to be supplied from the gross power output of

the OTEC system, i.e. it constitutes yet another loss of energy

•friction loss can become appreciable in the smaller piping

between the cold water pipe and the heat exchanger, and in
the heat exchanger itself.
•The flow rate required in practice to yield a given output
power is greater than that calculated, because a real heat
engine is less efficient than a Carnot engine in converting the
input heat into work.

•Fouling of the heat exchanger tubes makes the situation

worse, both by further raising the Q required to yield a
certain power output, and by decreasing the tube diameter.

•As a result, 50% of the input power may be lost to fluid


•Power used by the pumps themselves is another ‘loss’ from

the output power
Practical Considerations:
•Construction of the cold water pipe
•Link to the shore
•Choice of working fluid
Related technologies
•Marine farming
•Fresh water
Environmental impact :

•leakage and likely pollution from engineering plant,

especially of the working fluids and antifouling chemicals;

•consequent large volumes of pumped marine water

•forced mixing of deep nutrient-rich (nitrate, phosphate and

silicate) water with upper solar irradiated water

•location of engineering plant.