Unlike wind and solar, the Ocean Thermal Energy Converter (OTEC), developed by the Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO), is able to generate power 24/7, using the temperature differential between cold water below and warm water at the surface.
The OTEC, a four-deck 6,700 tonne floating platform, features a closed-loop of working fluid which is vaporised, driving a turbo-alternator to produce energy, before being condensed and cycled through the system.
The first system will be built for installation off the coast of South Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati in the South Pacific Ocean, 6 km offshore in a water depth of 1,300 m. If successful, the system could be scaled up to produce a 100MW commercial system.
“OTEC technology offers the potential for round-the-clock clean renewable energy from the ocean,” said Matthieu de Tugny, senior vp and head of offshore, BV. “We are excited to deploy our expertise in offshore energy, met-ocean studies and structures to help bring this project which will deliver clean electricity to remote areas to fruition.”
It could also provide a new line of work for shipyards involved in the building of offshore rigs and structures.