Projected Engineering Cost Estimates for an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Central Station

by Eugene C. Gritton, Ron Hess, Richard Y. Pei

Download

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.4 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback22 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

This Note summarizes an investigation into the potential cost reductions that might be achieved if certain engineering, construction, and financial improvements were realized in the OTEC concept. Six options have been analyzed: water-side heat transfer enhancement (for tube-and-shell heat exchangers), plate-type heat exchangers, fiberglass-reinforced-plastic (FRP) cold-water pipes, elimination of the requirement that the transmission cable be buried at ocean depths of less than 300 feet, a shorter construction period, and a reduced fixed charge rate. It was found that the changes having the most effect on capital cost are the two heat exchanger options and the shorter construction period. However, to achieve major reductions in capital costs, on the order of 30 percent, a combination of one of the heat exchanger options in conjunction with the cold-water pipe, transmission cable, and construction period options will be required. Additionally, both offshore and onshore applications were considered for the islands of Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Finally, the projected engineering cost estimates were compared with the costs of coal-fired and nuclear plants.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.