View Full Version : Miniature Ocean Thermal Energy Converter (OTEC) Science Fair Project

22-08-2012, 05:07 AM
We're two high school students living in Portland, OR, attending the School of Science and Technology. We are working on improving our miniaturized design for an ocean thermal energy converter. The project has not worked so far, although we're working on improving the design for this year. The project was sent to the state level of the Northwest Science Expo last year, where it won an award an award from the Air Force. We would appreciate any advice on improving the design (or ideas of what might be wrong) and, if someone were willing, we would like to consult with a refrigeration engineer living within driving distance of Portland.

Here are some images of the OTEC.


22-08-2012, 11:20 PM
If you could perhaps explain what the device is supposed to do and how it should do it along with a description of the parts shown in the photos then we might be able to come up with some answers.:)

24-08-2012, 10:33 AM
Hi Matthias,
we have done this job for the french university in "La Réunion". it's nothing more than a heat pump for sea water. I can say nothing more. the plant is commissioned. France is also far from Portland!!!

24-08-2012, 04:40 PM
Just a little more data please dudes if you expect us to help like Brian has suggested - we understand if there is some competition going on.

24-08-2012, 07:06 PM
Hi Tesla,
what I wanted to say is that a prototype is running, we supplied the heat pump used to get cold sea water and warm sea water.
the plant created to convert the energy from the hot source and the cold source is out of my competence. if I had any skill or knowledge on this subject, and this is not the case, it would be the domain of trade secret.
we could say that it's "a heat pump used in a reverse cycle".
follow the link , there is a video with some explanations in english. it is freely available on internet but in french!!


[edit] Website is also in English, click on Langue at the bottom of the screen. Brian

30-08-2012, 08:45 AM
In this setup it will not work at all, due to not correct setup and due to the losses in the pumps.
To get any results i would suggest to have a handpump in the liquid line, so pushing the cold liquid (for example butane, or water (cheap). Then a evaporator and a type of turbine (so for example a gas flow meter) and the condenser.
then comes the handpump again.
If using a motorpump hide it under the table as this is energyconsuming.
With this setup you can show there is energy coming from the turbine.
The two coils are good (but have the coils dipped and not thru the plastic, it will leak.
watch where they are connected, one is maikng steam and the other is condensing.