Sea Solar Power, Inc., through private funding from stockholders and the Abell Foundation, has continued to develop and test the key elements of a Rankine cycle OTEC plant. These are the vapor turbines, water pumps, heat exchangers, cold water pipe, vacuum pump, and integrated floating structure. Excellent progress has been made.
Learning from the experiences of Claude, the Andersons designed their plant to be floating so that the cold water pipe would extend straight down to the coldest water. To minimize the stresses on the cold water pipe and connection, the Anderson-designed plant is mostly submerged below the action of the wind and waves.
To further the technology of the cold water pipe, Sea Solar Power has developed a revolutionary construction, which allows individual pieces to be joined and lowered. Made of strong, light, reinforced fiberglass composite, it would be assembled on the floating platform. This is similar to drill pipe installations on offshore oil-drilling platforms with one section attached to the previous sections as the whole pipe is lowered to depth. SSP has been testing pipe sections for strength and connection reliability.
Heat exchangers, designed by Sea Solar Power, are a critical item of our technology. SSP has been extensively testing heat exchangers since the 1970’s. The exchanger efficiencies that have been achieved allow the heat exchangers and the overall plant to be of reasonable size and cost.
A new vacuum pump for removing air from the warm water has been designed, built and tested. A specially-designed vapor turbine has been manufactured and is ready to be assembled and tested at our Jacobus, PA facility.
The state of Sea Solar Power’s proprietary technology is such that a floating plant can be built today at a reasonable cost, to demonstrate the technology and the opportunities. Seven independent engineering studies by private firms, colleges, and associations corroborate SSP’s design.