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Special Issue "Selected Papers from The 8th International OTEC Symposium"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A3: Wind, Wave and Tidal Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 6541

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Albert S. Kim
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Interests: membrane filtration; particle dynamics; membrane distillation; grapheneocean; thermal energy convers
Prof. Dr. Victor Manuel Romero-Medina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Basic Sciences and Engineering, Universidad del Caribe, 77528 Cancún, Mexico
Interests: OTEC technology

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The remainder of the 21st century represents a challenging era for human beings because natural resources are depleting and the environment is significantly changing. The climate crisis and global warming already have dire consequences. Water and energy are becoming more scarce, and their availabilities much less predictable. At the current production rates, oil will run out in 53 years, natural gas in 54, and coal in 110, which in terms of human history, will be less than 200 years since we started using them. The international communities should prepare century-scale plans for ensuring reliable and sustainable water and energy supplies within one or two decades.

Among the ocean-related renewable energy resources, such as wind, waves, tides, and currents, ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is characterized by the use of ocean temperatures that should be utilized and improved in the 21st century by scientists and engineers. These include technological breakthroughs and energy (and water) policies, cost analysis at various time scales, and sociocultural aspects.

The 8th OTEC symposium aims to share the latest advances in research, applications, and marketability of OTEC worldwide. It also provides an excellent opportunity for OTEC researchers to publish the research work through this Special Issue. The scope of this Special Issue is intrinsically broad since OTEC is multidisciplinary. In this light, we also invite review papers of future techniques and perspectives for the coming energy crisis (in addition to topics of authors’ oral presentations).

The Guest Editors and review committee ensure that submitted papers are processed promptly.

Prof. Dr. Albert S. Kim
Prof. Dr. Victor Manuel Romero-Medina
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • OTEC technology/research resource assessment 
  • finance/policy/social considerations 
  • economical and costs 
  • ongoing projects 
  • environmental considerations 
  • other seawater uses: sea water air conditioning (SWAC), desalinated water, deep ocean water applications (DOWA), etc.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Special Issue “Selected Papers from the 8th International OTEC Symposium”
Energies 2022, 15(3), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030954 - 28 Jan 2022
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) aims to use the temperature difference between surface and deep seawater to generate electricity and (possibly) freshwater [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from The 8th International OTEC Symposium)

Research

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Article
Sensitivity Analysis of OTEC-CC-MX-1 kWe Plant Prototype
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2585; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092585 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 853
Abstract
The Mexican Caribbean Sea has potential zones for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) implementation. Universidad del Caribe and Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, with the support of the Mexican Centre of Innovation in Ocean Energy, designed and constructed a prototype OTEC [...] Read more.
The Mexican Caribbean Sea has potential zones for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) implementation. Universidad del Caribe and Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, with the support of the Mexican Centre of Innovation in Ocean Energy, designed and constructed a prototype OTEC plant (OTEC-CC-MX-1 kWe), which is the first initiative in Mexico for exploitation of this type of renewable energy. This paper presents a sensitivity analysis whose objective was to know, before carrying out the experimental tests, the behavior of OTEC-CC-MX-1 kWe regarding temperature differences, as well as the non-possible operating conditions, which allows us to assess possible modifications in the prototype installation. An algorithm was developed to obtain the inlet and outlet temperatures of the water and working fluid in the heat exchangers using the monthly surface and deep-water temperature data from the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model and Geographically Weighted Regression Temperature Model for the Mexican Caribbean Sea. With these temperatures, the following were analyzed: fluctuation of thermal efficiency, mass flows of R-152a and water and power production. By analyzing the results, we verified maximum and minimum mass flows of water and R-152a to produce 1 kWe during a typical year in the Mexican Caribbean Sea and the conditions when the production of electricity is not possible for OTEC-CC-MX-1 kWe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from The 8th International OTEC Symposium)
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Article
Performance Evaluation Concept for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion toward Standardization and Intelligent Design
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2336; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14082336 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) uses a very simple process to convert the thermal energy stored mainly in tropical oceans into electricity. In designs, operations, and evaluations, we need to consider the unique characteristics of OTEC to achieve the best performance or lower [...] Read more.
Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) uses a very simple process to convert the thermal energy stored mainly in tropical oceans into electricity. In designs, operations, and evaluations, we need to consider the unique characteristics of OTEC to achieve the best performance or lower the electricity cost of projects. The concept and design constraints of OTEC power generation differ from those of conventional thermal power plants due to the utilization of a low temperature difference. This research theoretically recognizes the unique characteristics of the energy conversion system and summarizes the appropriate performance evaluation methods for OTEC based on finite-time thermodynamics and the equilibrium condition of the heat source. In addition, it presents the concept of normalization of thermal efficiency for OTEC and exergy efficiency based on the available thermal energy in the ocean defined as the transferable thermal energy from the ocean and the equilibrium condition as the dead state for exergy. The differences between conventional thermal efficiency and the effectiveness of the evaluation methods are visualized using the various reference design data, and it is ascertained that there is no clear relation between the conventional thermal efficiency and exergy efficiency, whereas the normalized thermal efficiency is definitely proportional to the exergy efficiency. Moreover, the exergy efficiency shows the effectiveness of the staging Rankine, Kalina, and Uehara cycles. Therefore, the normalized thermal efficiency and the exergy efficiency are important to analyze the heat and mass balance as well as improvement of the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from The 8th International OTEC Symposium)
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Article
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion—Flexible Enabling Technology for Variable Renewable Energy Integration in the Caribbean
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2192; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14082192 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1143
Abstract
Many Caribbean island nations have historically been heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels for both power and transportation, while at the same time being at an enhanced risk from the impacts of climate change, although their emissions represent a very tiny fraction of [...] Read more.
Many Caribbean island nations have historically been heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels for both power and transportation, while at the same time being at an enhanced risk from the impacts of climate change, although their emissions represent a very tiny fraction of the global total responsible for climate change. Small island developing states (SIDSs) are among the leaders in advocating for the ambitious 1.5 °C Paris Agreement target and the transition to 100% sustainable, renewable energy systems. In this work, three central results are presented. First, through GIS mapping of all Caribbean islands, the potential for near-coastal deep-water as a resource for ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is shown, and these results are coupled with an estimate of the countries for which OTEC would be most advantageous due to a lack of other dispatchable renewable power options. Secondly, hourly data have been utilized to explicitly show the trade-offs between battery storage needs and dispatchable renewable sources such as OTEC in 100% renewable electricity systems, both in technological and economic terms. Finally, the utility of near-shore, open-cycle OTEC with accompanying desalination is shown to enable a higher penetration of renewable energy and lead to lower system levelized costs than those of a conventional fossil fuel system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from The 8th International OTEC Symposium)
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Article
Criteria for Optimal Site Selection for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Plants in Mexico
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2121; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14082121 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
Sustainable energy is needed globally, and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a possible way to diversify the energy matrix. This article suggests a preliminary selection process to find optimal sites for OTEC deployment on the Mexican coastline. The method comprises the (1) [...] Read more.
Sustainable energy is needed globally, and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a possible way to diversify the energy matrix. This article suggests a preliminary selection process to find optimal sites for OTEC deployment on the Mexican coastline. The method comprises the (1) evaluation of the thermal power potential, using daily data (16 years) of sea surface temperature, and the percentage of available time of the power thresholds; (2) assessment of feasibility using a decision matrix, fed by technical, environmental and socioeconomic criteria; (3) identification of four potential sites; and (4) comparison of OTEC competitiveness with other technologies through the levelized cost of energy. Multi-criteria decision analysis was applied to select optimal sites, using the technique for ordering performance by the similarity to the ideal solution. The best sites were (1) Puerto Angel and (2) Cabo San Lucas; with power production of > 50 MW and a persistence of > 40%. As yet there is no evidence from operational OTEC plants that could alter the environmental and socioeconomic criteria weightings. More in situ studies on pilot plants should help to determine their possible environmental impact and socio-economic consequences before any larger-scale projects are implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from The 8th International OTEC Symposium)
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Article
Validation of Sea-Surface Temperature Data for Potential OTEC Deployment in the Mexican Pacific
Energies 2021, 14(7), 1898; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14071898 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 872
Abstract
As the operation of an ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) plant depends on the temperature gradient between the surface and deeper water (SST), a variation in SST can significantly modify the energy produced. The aim of this paper is to present a comparative [...] Read more.
As the operation of an ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) plant depends on the temperature gradient between the surface and deeper water (SST), a variation in SST can significantly modify the energy produced. The aim of this paper is to present a comparative analysis of three sea-surface temperature databases (World Ocean Atlas (WOA), Satellite Oceanic Monitoring System (SATMO), and in situ sensor measurements). Simple linear regression and graphic comparisons allow correlations to be made between the distribution patterns of the SST data. The results show that there is no statistically significant difference between the three databases. To determine general regions where OTEC implementation is possible, at the macroscale, the WOA database is recommended, as a smaller amount of data must be analyzed. For meso- and microscales, such as specific areas of the Mexican exclusive economic zone. It is better to use SATMO and in situ measurements as a higher spatial resolution is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from The 8th International OTEC Symposium)
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