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Ocean thermal energy conversion plants : experimental and analytical study of mixing and recirculation

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dc.contributor.author Jirka, Gerhard H.
dc.contributor.author Johnson, R. Peter
dc.contributor.author Fry, David J.
dc.contributor.author Harleman, Donald R.F.
dc.date.accessioned 2006-03-06T16:39:16Z
dc.date.available 2006-03-06T16:39:16Z
dc.date.issued 1977-09
dc.identifier.other 04873683
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/31224
dc.description Also issued as Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory for Water Resources and Hydrodynamics. Report no.231. Prepared by the Energy Laboratory in association with Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory for Water Resources and Hydrodynamics. en
dc.description.abstract Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a method of generating power using the vertical temperature gradient of the tropical ocean as an energy source. Experimental and analytical studies have been carried out to determine the characteristics of the temperature and velocity fields induced in the surrounding ocean by the operation of an OTEC plant. The condition of recirculation, i.e. the reentering of mixed discharge water back into the plant intake, was of particular interest because of its adverse effect on plant efficiency. The studies were directed at the mixed discharge concept, in which the evaporator and condenser water flows are exhausted jointly at the approximate level of the ambient ocean thermocline. The OTEC plant was of the symmetric spar-buoy type with radial or separate discharge configurations. A distinctly stratified ocean with uniform, ambient current velocity was assumed. The following conclusions are obtained: The recirculation potential of an OTEC plant in a stagnant ocean is determined by the interaction of the jet discharge zone and a double sink return flow (one sink being the evaporator intake, the other the jet entrainment). This process occurs in the near-field of an OTEC plant up to a distance of about three times the ocean mixed layer depth. The stratified internal flow beyond this zone has little effect on recirculation, as have small ocean current velocities (up to 0.10 m/s prototype). Conditions which are conducive to recirculation are characterized by high discharge velocities and large plant flow rates. A design formula is proposed which determines whether recirculation would occur or not as a function of plant design and ocean conditions. On the basis of these results, it can be concluded that a 100 MW OTEC plant with the mixed discharge mode can operate at a typical candidate ocean site without incurring any discharge recirculation. en
dc.description.sponsorship Prepared under the support of Division of Solar Energy, U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration, Contract no. EY-76-S-02-2909.M001. en
dc.format.extent 7474729 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher MIT Energy Laboratory en
dc.relation.ispartofseries MIT-EL en
dc.relation.ispartofseries 77-011 en
dc.subject Ocean thermal power plants. en
dc.title Ocean thermal energy conversion plants : experimental and analytical study of mixing and recirculation en
dc.type Technical Report en


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