Lockheed Martin planning world’s biggest OTEC plant for China

The Lockheed Martin Group has announced that it will be constructing the world’s largest Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) power plant off the coast of southern China.

The planned 10MW power plant will be the biggest of its kind to date, and the goal is that it will supply all the power needed to run a nearby green resort that will be constructed by the Reignwood Group.

A OTEC plant uses the temperature difference between hot surface water and cold deep water to generate electricity. This can be done in a couple of ways, with the planned 10MW using a closed system generator.

In a closed system OTEC generator, a fluid with a low boiling point is heated up by the warm surface water, using a heat exchanger. The process turns the fluid into steam is used to run a turbine tied to a generator producing electricity. After the steam leaves the turbine, it is condensed into liquid form again by exposing it to the cold deep water.

“Unlike other renewable energy technologies, this power is also base load, meaning it can be produced consistently 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Lockheed Martin said at the unveiling of the new plans.

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