Research

Xenesys/Saga heat exchanger research centre

A Xenesys and Saga University joint research centre will be opened in April 2008. The centre which will house 40 employees is expected to cost 1 billion yen (US$ 8 million). Read the Xenesys press release.

OTEC research positions at Saga University

Saga University’s Institute of Ocean Energy is offering six research positions for three years. However, it appears that you have to be Japanese speaking, as the application requirements are only published in Japanese and only shown on the Japanese section of the web site. (I wish they would update the English section.)

Taiwan officially investigates OTEC

The Taiwan Journal published by the Taiwan government says in an article [cached] that in January the Council for Economic Planning and Development set up a task force promoting R&D in deep-sea water industries, including OTEC. Taitung County is promoting establishing a deep-sea water science park, like NELHA, on Hawaii

Could ‘Liquid Metal’ technologies transform the economics of OTEC components?

‘Liquid Metal’ is a revolutionary new metallic alloy that offers properties tailored to the end application such as seawater corrosion resistance, thermal conductivity and hardness. Most interestingly it can be shaped and moulded like conventional plastics using lower temperature methods while still offering metallic properties. Titanium is the current metal of choice for -for example- the plate heat exchangers for an OTEC, however the metal has high costs associated with shaping the end product. More… Continue reading

Reduced drag on pipes

In their paper “Passive control of VIV with drag reduction. J. Fluids and Struct. 15, pp 597-605, 2001″ J.C.Owen, P.W.Bearman and A.A.Szewczyk, talk about drag reductions of between 25% and 47% on particularly shaped pipes (as opposed to straight cylinder shaped pipes). Apparently this has now also been confirmed by independent commercial research. We have mentioned this before with a reference to their European patents.

Does the added engineering costs for producing a pipe in… Continue reading

OTEC based power for ocean nitrogen fertilisation

Engineering students from The University of Sydney have devised a scheme to produce reactive nitrogen for fertilization of the ocean from an OTEC plant. They claim that “Each floating structure could stimulate the growth of 370,000 tonnes of sardines a year, enough protein for three million people, at a cost of $US400 a tonne, or eight cents per person per day.” The University of Sydney News has a recent article about it and also one from January.

Burn billions of tons of coal where it lies?

Companies and government administration determined to not give up on coal as a major energy source has come up with a new scheme to burn the coal in place, without actually having to dig it out, and still gain energy from it. The process is called Underground Coal Gasification (UCG). New Scientist has an article on UCG [subscription required] which they end with: “Whatever the local, short-term benefits of adopting UCG, in the long run… Continue reading

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