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Three Japanese engineering companies IHI Plant Construction Corporation, Xenesys Incorporated, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation, will work together to build a trial Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant in the waters of the Okinawa coast.
An OTEC system generates energy by taking advantage of the temperature difference between warm water at the surface and cold water deep down. It is believed to be one of the most efficient methods of using thermal energy from the sea.
Xenesys will design and manufacture the power generator and heat exchange units. Yokogawa will design and manufacture the monitoring and control systems for the plant, including systems for the power generation unit and the electronics for any interconnecting power schemes in the future. IHI will then construct the entire facility.
The OTEC plant is expected to be completed by March 2013 and will prove a useful study to determine whether or not a commercial scale version would be viable for the future.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com