What’s Mitigating Climate Challenges? OTEC
Typically, the Climate Change Business Journal® (CCBJ) solicits the climate change and environmental industries for nominations for their annual Business Achievement Awards. For the 2013 awards, however, they instead reached out to Lockheed Martin. Because of Lockheed Martin’s significant achievement in Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), no formal nomination was needed.
CCBJ honored Lockheed Martin’s OTEC technology with a 2013 Business Achievement Award within the category of Technology Merit: Low Carbon & Renewable Power. CCBJ cited Lockheed Martin and Reignwood Group’s partnership as an “important step” in making this clean, baseload, reliable and sustainable source of energy commercially viable.
OTEC generates electricity by leveraging the temperature difference between warm surface water and deep cold water.
Lockheed Martin accepted the award at CCBJ’s banquet Mar. 12, and Dan Heller, vice president of new ventures for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business, stated, “OTEC’s ability to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels – one of the largest human-induced contributors to climate change – is enormous. When the collective benefits of numerous OTEC plants worldwide are calculated, this technology will clearly play a huge role in helping the global community fight pollution-related climate change.”
Lockheed Martin is the industry leader in the development of OTEC technology, holding 19 related patents. Lockheed Martin’s history with OTEC began in the 1970s, where the heritage Lockheed Martin Ocean Systems Division, based in Sunnyvale, California, developed a mini OTEC plant, which ran for three months and successfully generated 50 kilowatts of electricity.
OTEC harnesses the ocean’s temperature difference as the primary “fuel.” Warm surface water is pumped through a heat exchanger, vaporizing a low boiling point working fluid to drive a turbine generator, producing electricity. Deep sea water is pumped through another heat exchanger, condensing the vapor. The liquid-working fluid is returned to the first heat exchanger, and the cycle repeats.
March 20, 2014