Welcome to Renewable Energy Info

Renewable energy sources have diverse origins, a feature that demands equally diverse technologies to capture them. My interest in these (new) technologies resulted in this blog. If will focus on well developed technologies that are already put into practice, and on promising technologies that are still under development.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Renewable Energy From the Deep Ocean

Sources: OTEC News, YouTube

When I was looking for information on wave energy for one of the previous posts (this one), I came across many different technologies that make use of the energy present in the ocean. Whereas the wave energy converter described in the referred post uses the mechanical energy from the waves, the technology described here uses the thermal energy stored in the ocean. Check it out!

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a means of converting into useful energy the temperature difference between surface water of the oceans in tropical and sub-tropical areas, and water at a depth of approximately 1 000 meters which comes from the polar regions. For OTEC a temperature difference of 20oC is adequate, which embraces very large ocean areas, and favors islands and many developing countries as shown on the map below.

Have a look at this YouTube video that explains how it works!

I left a comment on YouTube in which I asked if anyone knew of a full-scale application of this technology and I got this reply from the person who posted the video: "To date there is no commercial application of this technology although there are a number of commercial projects in the works and I would expect some major announcements by the end of this year. It is commercially viable so long as oil prices remain over $50 a barrel and interest rates remain low. In time, it will probably be competitive with around $30 a barrel oil. It is unlikely to be competitive with oil under $20 a barrel."

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