J. Hilbert Anderson and James H. Anderson, Jr. are the founders of Sea Solar Power, Inc. Hilbert Anderson, after receiving a BS and MS from Penn State University in Mechanical Engineering joined Ingersoll-Rand in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. He became director of R&D in the 40’s and solved many design problems across the spectrum of rotating machinery and other machinery manufactured by IR. These included pumps, blowers, centrifugal compressors, steam turbines, gas turbines, reciprocating machines, mining equipment, heat exchangers and more. Anderson was responsible for developing the first gas turbine driven centrifugal compressor system for gas pipeline transmission in the world. He also went on loan to the secret project that became the “Manhattan Project” and developed the high molecular weight multistage centrifugal compressors for the gaseous diffusion process for uranium hexafluoride.
In 1952, Hilbert Anderson went to the York Corporation, became chief engineer, and was responsible for all of York’s large machinery and refrigeration equipment. These involved single stage compressors and heat transfer equipment and multistage systems. To this day his compressors are still being manufactured by York (now owned by Johnson Controls) and are licensed around the world. There are probably more centrifugal compressors operating in the world today to Hilbert Anderson’s designs than any other single individual. Hilbert Anderson has more than 125 US and foreign patents.
In 1962, Hilbert and son James Jr. started working on the concept of sea thermal power. Jim Jr. wrote his mechanical engineering BS thesis at MIT on an application of a sea thermal power plant off the coast of Florida in the Gulf Stream. Later they published articles in Power Magazine and a cover story in Mechanical Engineering magazine on sea thermal power in 1966. They incorporated as Sea Solar Power, Inc. in 1972 continuing to work on the designs for optimum turbines, pumps, heat transfer, the cold water pipe, and an entire integrated system. On their own money and some small contracts, SSP built a small portable operating model that has been demonstrated from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Houston, New Orleans, Washington, and others. It runs on warm water and ice water and electrifies a few lights. It even made hydrogen.
The Andersons started two other companies, J. Hilbert Anderson, Inc. (JHA, INC.) and Coupling Corporation of America (CCA). The first has done consulting work, mainly on proprietary based inventions. JHA, Inc. designed the first commercial hot water geothermal power plant in the world located in the Imperial Valley of Southern California. This plant has many subtle similarities to an SSP plant. CCA manufactures shaft couplings invented by Hilbert and Jim Jr. that are unique and are the most flexible high performance couplings in the world today. They are found in Petrochemical plants, fossil and nuclear power plants, process plants, and in military applications. These three companies share engineering, manufacturing, and managerial personnel in their synergetic efforts. It is this blend of mechanical engineering and operating experience that has contributed to our ability to design and innovative a practical and cost effective design for SSP plants.