Sunday, May 03, 2009

Energy from ocean heat

It sounds too good to be true. Use warm and cool ocean water to make electricity, from a heat engine. The concept is good, it's been around for decades, but now it might be time to get serious.

Take a look at these 3 engineer-looking fellas on the right. What are they doing? Looking up the poop chute of a giant squid? No, looking at the water pipe that's part of a prototype electricity plant that uses ocean temperature gradients.

And here we go, it's Captain NIMO (Not In My Ocean) time again here on blogfish. Shall we consider ocean energy? Dismiss it immediately? Does Captain NIMO get to decide?

I think we need to consider it, because climate change may be a bigger worry than ocean thermal energy plants. OK, I'll admit it, my current prediction and guess is that climate change IS a bigger ocean worry than ocean thermal energy plants. So let's do the research and the prototypes in the right places, and figure it out as best we can.

3 comments:

Rik said...

Here in Holland they are doing a study to make electricity from the mixing of fresh and salt water. The powerplant would be able to generate enough power to feed 160.000 hoseholds...

Rik said...

Households that is.....

Amanda Leland said...

The oceans are a huge source of renewable energy, and could produce up to 10 percent of current energy demand. Most areas of the country would benefit: we could see wave parks off Oregon and California, tidal turbines spinning in Maine, Alaska & Washington, and efforts to harness the Gulf Stream off Florida.

Those same technologies could also produce dam-less hydropower along the Mississippi River. But, there are still a lot of things we need to figure out - like what the potential environmental impacts are and how to regulate the industry to ensure public input and transparency. Also, developers will need to be granted licenses to test and perfect their technologies.