Before we discuss the ocean thermal energy pros and cons, we need to explain how the process actually works. This energy generation method takes advantage of the fact that the water at the bottom of the ocean is very cold, but it is warm on the surface. The technology of ocean thermal power generation uses a heat engine, much like in other energy generation methods. This heat engine is then put between two reservoirs – a low temperature one and a high temperature one. When the heat flows between the reservoirs, it is converted into energy.
Ocean thermal energy pros are numerous, and this method could be an answer to the projected energy crisis. One of the ocean thermal energy benefits is that it does not emit any greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It also does not rely on limited materials or waste. This method is energy efficient and an outside power source is not required for it. Perhaps one of the most important ocean thermal energy benefits is the fact that it can be used 24 hours a day, 365 days a year continuously. The sun is what warms the top water layers, and this is a constant daily event. So, as far thermal energy pros go, this is a very different one from other sources of alternative energy, which can only be used at certain specific times. This means that this method can provide a constant supply of electricity, regardless of the time and weather conditions.
However, the ocean thermal energy cons are also numerous. The main drawback is that it is extremely expensive to plan, design, and build such power generation plants. It requires huge investments up front and a long wait for returns. Wide diameter pipes with the length of thousands of feet need to be installed so that ice cold water can be extracted from the ocean depths without increasing in temperature. Another disadvantage is the costly maintenance of these pipes, as well as other equipment, since the corrosion they will experience from salt water. Another one of the thermal ocean energy cons is that organic materials like plankton and algae often get sucked from below the surface straight into the pipes. These materials tend to block up the whole system and cause it to break down. Ocean weather may also create problems. Certain areas are prone to severe tropical storms and hurricanes, which may damage the thermal ocean energy plants, or even completely destroy them.
Ocean thermal energy plants are most ideally suited to be located in tropical areas, especially in the Pacific Ocean around the islands in its tropical region. This is because the ocean temperature in that region has the greatest difference between surface and depth – about 24oC. Also, it is because these plants can provide both pure water and energy at a relatively low cost in this region.
For more information on ocean thermal energy, go to:
- Environmentalists in Chile Win Victory over Dam Builders
- Pros and Cons of Hydro Energy Generation
- Top 5 Wave Energy Advantages
- Scotland’s plans for new hydro-electric power
- Effective Renewable Energy System - Ocean Thermal Power Plants!
17 Responses to “Ocean Thermal Energy: Pros and Cons – Updated Article With Extra Information”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
The article needs to distinguish between turbines and damns – damns are more problematic environmentallySeptember 19th, 2010 at 3:13 pm
Thank you for your article post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.September 12th, 2010 at 4:16 pm
Been looking for this article for long time ago and finally found here. thanks for sharing this post. appreciate!August 29th, 2010 at 11:14 pm
Hi, thanks so very much for these suggestions!…August 27th, 2010 at 8:01 am
great guidance and sharing,I’ll get this wonderful for me .thank you!…August 18th, 2010 at 7:36 am
Thanks for the useful info, I reckon I’m gonna research a bit more, anyone care to help? 😛August 17th, 2010 at 11:01 pm
Thanks for your helpful Post, I hope you have a good day!August 17th, 2010 at 8:42 am
That’s great.very helpful,thanks a lotAugust 17th, 2010 at 8:35 am
Thanks for the share, I have been readin online all day and this was actully worth reading. ThanksAugust 17th, 2010 at 7:55 am
very good article,thans for your sharingAugust 17th, 2010 at 7:32 am
Great information that is much appreciated. Thank you for providing such interesting content in my quest to lose the flab.August 17th, 2010 at 7:22 am
I truly appreciate you taking the time to post this. I really liked reading it and am looking forward to more posts from you! Keep ’em coming.August 17th, 2010 at 6:53 am
I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.August 17th, 2010 at 6:49 am
Really nice post here – I don’t know why you don’t just get the most out of these tools whilst they are free.August 17th, 2010 at 5:47 am
Great information that is much appreciated. Thank you for providing such interesting content in my quest to lose the flab.August 17th, 2010 at 4:42 am
Thank you for your article,It’s well written, in depth posts like these that have aided me in becoming a good forex trader.August 17th, 2010 at 4:41 am
This websight really helped alot during my big science project, and contributed alot of my ansers. Thankfully i aced the test this is great for reserching thermal energy!May 20th, 2010 at 5:31 pm