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Lockheed Martin Contract For Ocean Thermal Technology

Lockheed Martin Contract For Ocean Thermal Technology

Lockheed Martin To Further Develop Ocean Thermal Technology

Military contractor Lockheed Martin has been awarded funding to revise previous methods of harnessing ocean technology.

The $1.2m contract will allow the defense contractor to construct a thermal piping system that produces electricity by exploiting the difference in temperature through the depths of the ocean water.

Lockheed Martin Ocean Thermal Technology

The company will develop a full-scale fiberglass and composite material prototype to demonstrate their plans to the Department of Energy (DoE). The piping needs to be wide and long enough to stretch down thousands of feet under the ocean, the only way believed to make the process efficient.

The temperature variant though the ocean water is relatively small, this means that large volumes of water are needed to produce a commercially-viable amount of power.

The technology involves pumping the waters of different temperatures through a heat exchange that vaporizes and then condenses the water, producing steam which drives a turbine.

“Our independent research and development work to date has shown OTEC to be technically feasible..
“The next step is to demonstrate it on a commercial scale and this DOE contract will help accelerate our progress towards that goal,”

Said Denise Saiki, the vice president and general manager of Lockheed’s Undersea Systems business unit.

The company hopes the energy produced will be sufficient to generate electricity which could be used for desalination among many other things. The process is said to be relatively harmless to the ocean’s environment.

While scientists began fleshing out Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion in the 70’s, no one has yet been able to manufacture a workable commercial design.

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