Photo: OTEC 360° virtual reality tool (Courtesy of UTM OTEC)

OTEC 360° virtual reality tool comes online

UTM Ocean Thermal Energy Centre (UTM OTEC) has developed a virtual reality tool to explain the basic concept of power generation and desalination process in Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) system.

Screenshot of a OTEC 360° virtual reality tool (Courtesy of UTM OTEC)
OTEC 360° virtual reality tool (Courtesy of UTM OTEC)

The objective of the project developed by UTM OTEC – a centre dedicated to OTEC research within the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia – is to promote OTEC technology, especially during the time of online teaching and learning, and to captivate and encourage students to learn more about the technology and the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

The OTEC 360° is also in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whereby, it can be accessed and used by anyone 24/7, thus increasing the quality of education for stakeholders (SDG4), according to UTM OTEC.

“By increasing the quality of education, OTEC 360° develops subject matter expertise that is building a solid foundation for economic growth (SDG8); National and international collaboration on OTEC has led to strengthening the peace in the world (SDG16)”, UTM OTEC said.

OTEC is a method of converting part of the heat from the Sun which is stored in the surface layers of a body of water into electrical energy or energy product equivalent.

The basis of OTEC technology is that water near the surface is heated by sunlight while seawater, deep in the dark, is much colder. This technology is viable, primarily, in equatorial areas where the year-round temperature differential is at least 20°C (36°F).

OTEC plants work by using warm surface water to heat ammonia, or some other fluid that boils at a low temperature, to produce gas used to drive the turbines needed to produce electricity. The gas is then cooled by cold water pumped up from the ocean depths and the resulting fluid is recycled to help generate power.

OTEC 360° virtual reality tour can be accessed via dedicated site, and in video format below.

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