The Tidal Irrigation and Electrical System

renewable energy, carbon dioxide sink, biodiesel, and food from the ocean


Martin on Apr 12th 2008

OTEC: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

How an OTEC generates electricity is very simple. It uses cold water and warm water to drive a turbine. Of course, it’s not actually that simple… The cold water and warm water do not directly interact with the turbine. They boil and condense a working fluid, kind of like ammonia, and it is in a sealed system that contains the turbine. It is this same type of system that prevents radioactive material from escaping from a nuclear power plant’s turbine.

By bringing deep oceanic water (DOW) to the surface via a pipe and forcing it to interact with the warm surface waters through a heat exchanger, it is possible to generate electricity on a vast scale and produce clean fresh water. The advantage of attaching an OTEC to a TIE System is that so much less energy is lost to pumping due to the fact that the DOW is moving under tidal forces. Also, the amount of DOW moved is directly related to the size of the artificial atoll – which means that there is hugely beneficial economy of scale the larger you build a TIE System.