Generalized Parameters for Selection of Turbines and Working Fluids for OTEC Power Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
D. D. Rosard

Power Dynamics, Havertown, PA 19083

J. Eng. Power 102(1), 215-222 (Jan 01, 1980) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3230226 History: Received November 17, 1978; Online September 28, 2009


The choice of working fluid has a significant impact on the size and design characteristics of turbines for closed cycle OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) power systems. This paper examines turbine sizes and speeds for various candidate working fluids. The turbine performance and design limits are strongly influenced by blade stress criteria which have been ignored by previous investigators. Illustrative design parameters are given for a turbine using ammonia and scaling parameters are listed to compare the power outputs of turbines using other fluids. The design of a turbine for open-cycle OTEC power systems is largely dictated by the very high specific volume of the exhaust steam at a pressure of about 0.14 psia. In order to minimize the cost of turbines and generators through economy of scale, it is desirable to maximize the power output of a single turbine, and this leads to very large diameters and blade lengths. This paper explores the considerations which influence the choice of turbine size, blade length, speed, power output and efficiency.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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