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Heat exchanger development for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

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11 Author(s)
Eldred, Michael P. ; Makai Ocean Engineering, Waimanalo, HI, USA ; Van Ryzin, Joseph C. ; Rizea, Steven ; Chen, In Chieh
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Heat exchangers comprise one of the largest cost drivers for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) systems. Reductions in fabrication costs and improvements in performance are critical to successfully commercialize sustainable energy power plants using this low (∼20°C) ΔT resource. Heat exchanger (HX) units should maximize heat transfer per unit area (U value) while minimizing pressure losses, corrosion and cost. Current OTEC research is focused on heat exchanger configuration design, materials, and fabrication techniques. This paper summarizes the OTEC heat exchanger test programs underway and describes the heat exchanger development goals, the heat exchanger performance test facilities being used, and the corrosion testing being performed.

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19-22 Sept. 2011