Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a promising technology to provide sustainable and dispatchable energy supply to oceanic coastal areas and islands. It exploits the temperature difference between deep cold ocean water and warm tropical surface water in an Organic RankineCycle (ORC), guaranteeing a continuous and dispatchable electric production, overcoming one ofthe most critical issue of renewable generators such as PV or wind turbines. Despite the technological maturity of ORC application to OTEC systems, it still presents technical and economicbarriers mainly related to their economic feasibility, large initial investments as well as heavy and time demanding civil installation works. To overcome such issues, multipurpose OTEC plants are proposed, producing electrical power as well as other products, such as useful thermal power (e.g. ambient cooling) and desalinated water. Since OTEC engineering is still at a lowdegree of maturity, there are no widespread and established tools to facilitate OTEC feasibility studies and to allow performance and cost optimization. Therefore, in this paper, a new tool for techno-economic analysis and optimization of multipurpose OTEC plants is presented. Starting from a detailed database of local water temperature and depth, the approach allows to provide a quantitative insight on the achievable performance, required investment, and expected economic returns, allowing for a preliminary but robust assessment of site potential as well as plant size. After the description of the techno-economic approach and related performance and cost functions, the tool is applied to an OTEC power plant case study in the range of 1 MW gross electrical power, including a preliminary assessment of scaling-up effects.

Techno-economic analysis of multipurpose OTEC power plants

Barberis S.;Giugno A.;Traverso A.
2019-01-01

Abstract

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a promising technology to provide sustainable and dispatchable energy supply to oceanic coastal areas and islands. It exploits the temperature difference between deep cold ocean water and warm tropical surface water in an Organic RankineCycle (ORC), guaranteeing a continuous and dispatchable electric production, overcoming one ofthe most critical issue of renewable generators such as PV or wind turbines. Despite the technological maturity of ORC application to OTEC systems, it still presents technical and economicbarriers mainly related to their economic feasibility, large initial investments as well as heavy and time demanding civil installation works. To overcome such issues, multipurpose OTEC plants are proposed, producing electrical power as well as other products, such as useful thermal power (e.g. ambient cooling) and desalinated water. Since OTEC engineering is still at a lowdegree of maturity, there are no widespread and established tools to facilitate OTEC feasibility studies and to allow performance and cost optimization. Therefore, in this paper, a new tool for techno-economic analysis and optimization of multipurpose OTEC plants is presented. Starting from a detailed database of local water temperature and depth, the approach allows to provide a quantitative insight on the achievable performance, required investment, and expected economic returns, allowing for a preliminary but robust assessment of site potential as well as plant size. After the description of the techno-economic approach and related performance and cost functions, the tool is applied to an OTEC power plant case study in the range of 1 MW gross electrical power, including a preliminary assessment of scaling-up effects.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1100050
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