A comparative analysis on the impact of salinity on the heat generation of OTEC plants to determine the most plausible geographical location

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Bradley Lynn
Alexander Medved
Timothy Griggs

Abstract

This meta-study aims to analyse how the salinity and temperature gradient of the ocean influences the efficiency of ocean-based power plants utilising Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) systems to recommend optimal geographical locations. A comparative analysis of relevant and up to date literature was conducted with pooled data collected by other researchers and utilised such that reasonable conclusions were drawn on how the factors above impact the efficiency of the system. Through the comparisons of the different outputs of the various operational OTEC facilities, it was concluded that seawater with a higher salinity has a negative impact on the heat generated by the OTEC system. By decreasing the salinity by 10% the heat generated increased by up to 0.4%. This information conveys that ideal locations for OTEC power generation lie within the tropics, in regions with lower sea-water salinity. These findings could positively impact the power output of future OTEC plants and highlight the potential for new sources of renewable energies for coastal regions.

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