Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plant (OTEC)

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    In Context

    • Ocean thermal energy conversion plant coming up in Lakshadweep.

    About Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plant (OTEC)

    • Ministry:
      • The National Institute of Ocean Technology, an autonomous institute under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is establishing an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plant.
    • Location:
      • It is being established in Kavaratti, the capital of Lakshadweep.
    • Function and capacity:
      • It has a capacity of 65 kilowatt (kW).
      • The plant will power the one lakh litre per day low temperature thermal desalination plant, which converts seawater into potable water.

    Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion 

    • About:
      • Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a form of energy conversion that makes use of the temperature differential between the warm surface waters of the oceans, heated by solar radiation, and the deeper cold waters 
      • OTECs are used to generate power in a conventional heat engine.
    • Beyond the production of clean power, the OTEC process also provides several useful by-products. 
      • The delivery of cool water to the surface has been used in air-conditioning systems and in chilled-soil agriculture (which allows for the cultivation of temperate-zone plants in tropical environments). 
      • Open-cycle and hybrid processes have been used in seawater desalination, and OTEC infrastructure allows access to trace elements present in deep-ocean seawater
      • In addition, hydrogen can be extracted from water through electrolysis for use in fuel cells.
    • Potential:

    The prospects for commercial application of OTEC technology seem bright, particularly on islands and in developing countries in the tropical regions where conditions are most favourable for OTEC plant operation.