physics paper - Paul OMalley (24449318) Physics 118 Paper...

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Paul O’Malley (24449318) Physics 118 Paper #1 Ocean thermal energy conversion technology harnesses the power of the most abundant resource on this planet, water, and is a practical way to make clean, efficient energy. It is a concept that has been around since the late 19 th century, but has never been able to be put into long term use. Experimental plants have been able to generate up to 250 kilowatts of energy, with little to no affects on the surrounding environment. OTEC has become more and more popular as the need for clean, efficient energy, and less reliance on harmful fossil fuels, has grown. One of the regions that using this technology in would have the most affect is the state of Hawaii. Their inability to produce enough power and energy for their secluded island chain could be solved by installing long term OTEC plants. But, as perfect as it seems, this type of technology has a lot of obstacles to overcome until it is successfully put into use. Overcoming these obstacles will eventually be worth it though, because OTEC is one of the most applicable clean energy technologies that can be used in the world today. This topic intrigues me for many reasons. One is that it has been around for over 100 years, and has been on the back burner of the necessity for clean energy talks until recently. The technology was first thought of in 1891 by a French physicist, and the first plant was built in 1930 in Cuba. Another plant was constructed in 1935 off of the coast of Brazil, but a lack of technology led to both plants being destroyed before they could produce net energy. Although these both failed, they set the framework for developing this type of technology, and in 1974 the
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course PHYSICS 118 taught by Professor Davidkastor during the Fall '10 term at UMass (Amherst).

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physics paper - Paul OMalley (24449318) Physics 118 Paper...

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