Class 10 Physics Sources of Energy Ocean Thermal Energy

Ocean Thermal Energy

  • The surface of the ocean is at a higher temperature than the layers below. This is because of the sun's heat warms up the upper layers of the sea.
  • This temperature difference is exploited to generate energy
  • A minimum temperature difference of 20 degrees C is needed between water at the surface and at a depth of about 2 km.
  • This requires Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plants which converts ocean thermal energy to electricity.


Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plants



  • The water at surface of the ocean which is at higher temperature vaporizes liquid ammonia.
  • The vapour ammonia now moves the turbine which generates electricity.
  • The vapour ammonia then, is condensed using the water at the bottom layers of the ocean. It now again becomes liquid ammonia.
  • This is again heated by the heat from the top layers and the process continues.

Advantages of Ocean Thermal Energy


Disadvantages of Ocean Thermal Energy


·         More reliable (more than solar/wind)

·         Renewable

·         Low maintenance cost


·         Initial cost is very high

·         Not environment friendly because construction of such plants could harm aquatic plants and animals.



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