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Ocean Thermal Electric Conversion (OTEC)

Last updated: February 12, 2017

What Does Ocean Thermal Electric Conversion (OTEC) Mean?

Ocean thermal electric conversion (OTEC) is a kind of renewable energy technology that relies on solar energy that is absorbed by the ocean to generate electric power. The sun's heat warms the surface of the ocean and this heat is used to vaporize a liquid that has a lower boiling point than water, and generate high pressure, which is used to generate power.

Safeopedia Explains Ocean Thermal Electric Conversion (OTEC)

The efficiency of the technology depends primarily on the variation between temperatures in the ocean. The larger the difference, the greater the efficiency. This means that the technology is best used in areas near the equator. The liquid within the machine which evaporates (usually ammonia) is used to spin a turbine that is attached to a generator. This then goes into a condenser where it is cooled by water pumped from deeper in the ocean that is colder.


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