Renewable Energy – Wind, Tidal, Geothermal, etc.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant in Lakshadweep


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: OTEC technology

Mains level: Renewable Energy in India

The National Institute of Ocean Technology is establishing an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant with a capacity of 65 kilowatts (kW) in Kavaratti, the capital of Lakshadweep.

What is OTEC Plant?

  • Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a process or technology for producing energy by harnessing the temperature differences (thermal gradients) between ocean surface waters and deep ocean waters.
  • Energy from the sun heats the surface water of the ocean.
  • In tropical regions, surface water can be much warmer than deep water.
  • This temperature difference can be used to produce electricity and to desalinate ocean water.

How do they work?

  • The OTEC technology uses the temperature difference between the cold water in the deep sea (5°C) and the warm surface seawater (25°C) to generate clean, renewable electricity.
  • The technology requires a minimum of 20°C difference between the surface and deep ocean temperatures.
  • Warm surface water is pumped through an evaporator containing a working fluid. The vaporized fluid drives a turbine/generator.
  • The vaporized fluid is turned back to a liquid in a condenser cooled with cold ocean water pumped from deeper in the ocean.
  • OTEC systems using seawater as the working fluid can use the condensed water to produce desalinated water.


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1 year ago

And what happens to the leftover, high-saline content waste water which is pumped back into the sea? What is the environmental impact of the same?


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