Guralnick Associates Receives OTEC Contract

Morris Guralnick Associates, Inc., San Francisco, Calif., has been selected by the Dillingham Corporation's Hawaiian Dredging & Construction Division to assist in the design and eventual construction of a floating platform to perform rigorous at-sea tests on a large fiberglass cold water pipe as part of the U.S.

Government's Ocean Thermal As a Component: Signal-conditioned, 2-wire, 4-20 ma DC output As a System: Supplied with display receiver modules.

Energy Conversion (OTEC) research program.

The two-part project provides $600,000 for funding the engineering phase and $7.2 million for c o n s t r u c t i o n , instrumentation, deployment, testing, and data validation of computer codes.

A 10-foot-diameter, 1,000-footlong pipe will model at one-third scale the pipe that eventually will be required for an OTEC platform processing 40 megawatts.

This project is another step toward extraction of solar energy from the temperature difference of seawater on the surface and at great depths, by means of a proven technology originally proposed in the late 19th century.

Guralnick and HD&C have been in the forefront of the recent renewed interest in OTEC. The firm provided naval architectual and marine engineering consulting services to the U.S. Department of Energy throughout the period of design and construction of OTEC-1, the first ocean test ship. Hawaiian Dredging was a partner in "Mini-OTEC," the first success in the U.S. of actual OTEC power generation at sea.

OTEC systems produce electricity by using the temperature difference between warm water at the ocean's surface and cold water from approximately 3,000 feet deep. The warm water is used to evaporate a working fluid, such as ammonia, that boils at a relatively low temperature. The resulting vapor drives a turbine that in turn runs a generator.

Cold water piped up from the depths is used to condense the vapor, and the fluid is then boiled again. The system is closed, so the fluid is constantly reused.

Among other advancements in this plan, MGA has completed the engineering for deployment and support of 3,000-foot-long pipes in the deep-ocean environment.

To do this, the firm developed complex computer methods for calculating the forces imposed on the pipe and deployment vessels.

The award of the prime contract was announced early in July by Senator Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii, who stated that funds will be provided by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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