Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Resources

OTEC, or ocean thermal energy conversion,  takes advantage of the ocean’s natural thermal gradient to convert solar radiation to electric power.   This technology could be addressed with your students in the context of thermohaline circulation and the role of water as an energy agent.

The following organizations have some teacher-friendly OTEC resources:

NREL website includes an OTEC thermal resource map, showing where OTEC potential is greatest.

NOAA website also has diagrams and fact sheets available for download.

US Dept of Energy website includes information on the types of OTEC systems and the environmental and economic challenges of OTEC.

A 4 minute video about OTEC is available from the Ocean Energy Council’s website.  A poster highlighting major ocean energy technologies is also available for download.

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