Offshore Closed Loop Latent Heat Energy Storage with Ocean Thermal Energy Capture

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The primary goal of this concept is to provide an efficient means to capture energy that is produced offshore during off peak times for later use. It would employ a wind or solar powered compressor to condense a refrigerant at high pressures, thereby retaining its energy in the forms of both latent and specific heat pulled from the ocean.

To generate power for the power grid at the demanded rate, a metering valve would feed the liquid refrigerant to an evaporator that would absorb ocean heat and boil the refrigerant. A liquid loop would then transfer heat from the warmer liquid storage tank to a heat exchanger that would further heat the gaseous refrigerant. This would serve to superheat the gaseous refrigerant for more pressure to drive the turbine and it would allow the hot gases in the storage tank to condense.

After leaving the turbine, the gaseous refrigerant would be captured and stored in expandable bladders at low pressure while it awaits recompression. Suitable bladders have been developed and are commercially available.

An inexpensive refrigerant with a high critical temperature and pressure and minimal greenhouse effects, such as propane, could be used. The system could use a single compressor or multiple remote compressors to feed a common liquid storage tank or system of tanks. A single large turbine would likely be the most efficient means to generate power from the superheated refrigerant. Finally, the pressure handling requirements of the storage containers, and thereby their cost, could be minimized by placing them at ocean depths that minimize pressure differential and stress.


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  • Name:
    Aric Haynes
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