Papers & Presentations

Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit & Expo 2013

Members of the OTI team presented to the APCESE and International OTEC Symposium held in Honolulu, Sept. 9 to 11.

Eileen O’Rourke, OTI’s Chief Operating Officer, participated on the panel OTEC: A Developer’s Perspective.  O’Rourke said what stands between OTEC and a successfully financed commercial project is an enforceable contract for the baseload energy such a plant would produce.  To access the presentation, click here.

Barry Cole, OTI’s Executive VP and Director of Technology Development, presented on the OTEC: Policies, Finance and Incentives panel.  Cole focused on OTEC as an economic engine for both the providing and receiving countries.  To access the presentation, click here.


Design Considerations for a Floating OTEC Platform

OTI’s Chief Engineer and Naval Architect Jonathan M. Ross, P.E., Ch. Eng has a paper Design Considerations for a Floating OTEC Platform published by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA).  Ross presented the paper at the Marine and Offshore Renewable Energy Conference in London in September 2012.

To purchase a copy of this paper, please visit RINA’s website.

Design Considerations for a Floating OTEC Platform: Abstract

Overview of the Platform

Overview of the Platform

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) generates power from temperature differences between warm surface water and cold deep water in tropical seas.

Although the concept has existed for more than 100 years, recent material and engineering innovations, together with the rising cost of oil, have only lately made the technology commercially viable on a large scale.  OTEC facilities may be based on land or in the ocean.  This paper examines the design considerations for an ocean-based, floating OTEC plant.

Key to the commercial success of a floating OTEC plant is the platform that houses and protects the machinery and its operators.  Ocean-based OTEC facilities must operate in locations that are too deep ( 1,000 meters) for bottom-founded towers, so these facilities are supported in floating platforms.  Based on the knowledge and experience of the offshore petroleum industry, which operates many different platform types, the OTEC industry typically considers three platform types as being suitable for its needs – the ship-shape, semi-submersible, and spar designs.

This paper focuses on the spar platform design to illustrate the naval architecture issues which must be addressed specific to an OTEC platform.

Designing an OTEC platform is challenging for the naval architect because of the volume of equipment that must be supported by the platform, and the need to remain at sea and operational for 25 years.  Unique solutions are necessary, especially regarding the environmental conditions specific to each location, such as the direction and size of ocean swells, and wind velocity.  This paper details how existing technologies and engineering innovations from the offshore petroleum and commercial shipbuilding industries can be applied to configure an OTEC spar platform to accommodate the safe and efficient  operation of OTEC equipment.