Scaled OTEC structure design (Screenshot/Video by Global OTEC)

Global OTEC starts testing scaled designs for PLOTEC project

UK company Global OTEC has started testing the scaled design of an ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) platform as part of the EU-funded PLOTEC project.

Scaled OTEC structure design (Screenshot/Video by Global OTEC)
Scaled OTEC structure design (Screenshot/Video by Global OTEC)
Scaled OTEC structure design (Screenshot/Video by Global OTEC)

In the first half of May, Global OTEC tested a cylindrical hull OTEC structure and cold water pipe at Charlton Lido in London.

The structure is being developed under the PLOTEC consortium, an EU-funded project with seven partners across Europe collaborating to develop an OTEC platform capable of withstanding the extreme weather effects of the tropical area of the ocean, with a viable cost model, validated by a scaled demonstration.

The consortium received €3.5 million from the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation Horizon Europe, and from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for the scheme, which is expected to result in a physical deployment of an OTEC platform at the PLOCAN test facility in Gran Canaria in 2024.

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“This was our first experience in the water with the structure, which allowed us to crucially validate the connection point in a relevant environment. We gained some vital insights that will inform the next iteration of our design – a really important feature of research and development projects.

“This will help us to prepare before we move into a wave tank and eventually the open ocean,” said Dan Grech, the founder and CEO of Global OTEC.

OTEC takes advantage of the temperature difference between warm seawater at the surface of the ocean, and cold seawater.

The warm seawater is used to produce a vapor that acts as a working fluid to drive turbines, while the cold water is used to condense the vapor and ensure its pressure difference drives the turbine.

Aside from Global OTEC, some of the other members of the PLOTEC consortium are Cleantech Engineering Limited, WavEC Offshore Renewables, and PLOCAN.

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