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Posts tagged “ocean thermal energy conversion”

By Robert Rapier on Jul 27, 2010 with 50 responses

The Missing Oil, Death of a Climate Bill, and French Engineering

The Missing Oil I just wanted to briefly touch on three energy stories that were in the news over the past week. The first is that the oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico seems to be slowing: BP Oil Spill: Clean-Up Crews Can’t Find Crude in the Gulf Thousands of small oil patches remain below the surface, but experts say an astonishing amount has disappeared, reabsorbed into the environment. “[It's] mother nature doing her job,” said Ed Overton, a professor of environmental studies at Louisiana State University. Experts stress that even though there’s less and less oil as time goes on, there’s still plenty around the spill site. And in the long term, no one knows what the impact… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 22, 2010 with 16 responses

Answering Questions on OTEC – Part II

This is the second installment responding to reader questions and comments on ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) by Dr. Robert Cohen. Dr. Cohen’s previous entries are: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Potential Markets and Benefits from Ocean Thermal Energy Answering Questions on OTEC – Part I RESPONSE TO COMMENTS RE OCEAN THERMAL ENERGY POSTED ON THE R-SQUARED ENERGY BLOG Robert Cohen, February 16, 2010 Environmental, Operational, and CO2 Issues Since the operation of an ocean thermal plant requires the circulation through the plant of a veritable “river of water”, careful design consideration must be given to minimizing effects on the local and downstream temperature distribution with depth. Hence a lot will depend upon how the effluent seawater is discharged following passage… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 21, 2010 with 38 responses

Answering Questions on OTEC – Part I

Dr. Robert Cohen has been involved in ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) since the early 1970′s. He has posted two guest essays here previously: Ocean Thermal Energy ConversionPotential Markets and Benefits from Ocean Thermal Energy Following both essays, a number of questions and concerns were raised, so I asked Dr. Cohen if he would respond. He has written me a thoughtful and detailed response, and I will present it here in two parts. Dr. Cohen also has a website with more information on OTEC. His contact information is available there. Part I is a general commentary on history, current status, and the projections for cost and a market-entry outlook. Part II will delve deeper into the engineering and environmental questions… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 14, 2009 with no responses

Osmotic Power

Did you ever wonder why the skin on your hands sometimes shrivels when you have them in water for too long? The underlying reason is called osmosis (a simple explanation in more detail below), and the same driving force is now being utilized as a power source. Occasionally I encounter an energy story that catches me by surprise because it is so far under the radar. This morning I got one of those from a friend who e-mailed and referred me to this story: The world’s first osmotic power plant opened! My immediate reaction was skepticism that you could really make osmotic power work as a viable energy source. But first a bit of background before readers’ eyes glaze over… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 10, 2009 with no responses

Brainstorming the Year’s Top Energy Stories

I am working on a few things right now that should be finished up in the next week or so. First, I am compiling a list of questions/comments for Bob Cohen regarding his recent guest post on ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). I will post his answers. If you have a relevant question that you feel wasn’t asked following that essay, post it here and I will get it to him. Second, I am trying to put together the year’s top energy stories. In my mind the one at or near the top has been the resurgence in oil prices since January. Oil prices have more than doubled, and in a normal year that would be big news. But I… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 25, 2009 with 1 response

Potential Markets and Benefits from Ocean Thermal Energy

Happy Thanksgiving to those who will celebrate it tomorrow. I plan to spend the long weekend with my family, and probably won’t be on here much. In the interim, two things. First is that it is about time to start thinking about the top energy stories of the year. As in year’s past, I would like reader’s opinions on the top energy-related stories of 2009. I will put up a post late in December with the ones that I think are most significant. Second, I present a guest post by Dr. Robert Cohen on ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). Dr. Cohen has been an advocate of OTEC for many years, and has posted a guest essay here previously: Ocean Thermal… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 7, 2009 with no responses

Interview with The Reef Tank

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a website called The Reef Tank about doing an interview with them on Energy and The Marine World. At first I said that this was a bit outside my expertise, but they said that was OK; I could just try to answer the questions to the best of my ability. We discussed my background and my interest in energy, this blog, climate change, and energy from the oceans. They have asked me if I would mind linking to the interview so they might reach a scientifically-minded audience that is of a somewhat different cross-section than what they might normally reach. The interview is available at the link above. Below are excerpts:… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 22, 2008 with no responses

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

There are several potential sources of alternative energy that I think are quite promising, but don’t get nearly the press of wind or solar power. Geothermal power is one. There are already a number of geothermal power plants in operation around the world, but you wouldn’t know it by the amount of press coverage. Iceland derives 20% of their electricity and nearly 90% of their heating from geothermal power, but in terms of total megawatts the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of geothermal energy (covered in a previous post here). Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is another potential energy source that gets little press. Think of OTEC as a big heat pump that operates off of the temperature differences… Continue»