With reference to the enegy security, the term OTEC (ocean thermal energy conversion) has been making news in recent times. Consider the following statements with this reference:
1. OTEC uses the temperature difference between cooler deep and warmer shallow or surface ocean waters to run a heat engine and produce electricity.
2. OTEC provides energy 24hrs/day all year long with higher economic efficiency
Which among the above is / are correct statements?
Second statement is partially incorrect. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion technology, known as OTEC, uses the ocean’s natural thermal gradient to generate power. In geographical areas with warm surface water and cold deep water, the temperature difference can be leveraged to drive a steam cycle that turns a turbine and produces power. Warm surface sea water passes through a heat exchanger, vaporizing a low boiling point working fluid to drive a turbine generator, producing electricity.
This process can serve as a baseload power generation system that produces a significant amount of renewable, non-polluting power, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Military shore-side bases and communities in the tropics, many of which are largely dependent on imported fossil fuels for power and transportation, are ideal candidates for such a system.
Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) uses the temperature difference between cooler deep and warmer shallow or surface ocean waters to run a heat engine and produce useful work, usually in the form of electricity. OTEC is a base load electricity generation system, i.e. 24hrs/day all year long. However, since the temperature differential is small, the efficiency is low, decreasing the economic feasibility of ocean thermal energy for electricity generation.
This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module