Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Overview

This Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) project is part of the overall Hawai‘i National Renewable Marine Energy Center, funded through the US Department of Energy. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) uses the temperature difference between the cold deep water of the ocean and the warm surface water to generate electricity. Besides HNEI, team partners on this project are Lockheed Martin and Makai Ocean Engineering. Project objectives include:

  • Testing of innovative heat exchangers compatible with a closed-cycle OTEC plant;
  •  Assisting the private sector to advance OTEC development through long-term testing of an OTEC plant; and
  • A completed OTEC plant design plus secured permits and environmental assessment.   

The primary HNEI contact is Luis Vega. For details about this project, see the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion pdf document. The Hawai‘i National Marine Renewable Energy Center has a separate website located at: http://hinmrec.hnei.hawaii.edu/. For additional information on related HNEI research activities, see the Ocean Resources research section of our website.

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