Lockheed Wins Contract To Evaluate Ocean Platform Candidates

Lockheed and its team of subcontractors have won a contract to evaluate six platform candidates that would carry massive power equipment to generate electricity from ocean water temperature differences. The research program is called Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).

Work on the 11-month contract from the federal Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) was begun in late July, according to Roger D. Fuller, program director at Lockheed Missiles & Space Co., Sunnyvale, Calif.

Lockheed is one of three prime contractors to help ERDA select the best platform for a 100-million- watt OTEC electrical power plant to be constructed by 1984 to demonstrate the concept. Platform candidates for the study include ship shapes, circular barge, tuned sphere, submersible, semisubmersible, and spar.

Following are the subcontractors and their role in the Lockheed study: Earl and Wright, and Morris Guralnick Associates, Inc., both San Francisco, Calif., naval architect firms, will perform conceptual design analysis; Hydronautics, Inc. of Silver Spring, Md., and naval architect consultant Prof. J. Randolph Paulling Jr. of the U n i v e r s i t y of California, Berkeley, will establish design criteria and motion analysis; The Bechtel Corp., and T.Y. Lin International, both of San Francisco, will study, respectively, power systems and concrete construction; Tuned Sphere International of Nashua, N.H., will provide design requirements for the spherical shape.

OTEC is the concept of using ocean surface waters, continually warmed by the sun, to heat and vaporize a working fluid (such as ammonia) which in t u rn drives a turbine to generate (alternating current) electricity. The gas is then condensed with cold water from the ocean depths and recirculated.

Lockheed has studied OTEC since mid-1974, first under contract to the National Science Foundation and then ERDA, concentrating on engineering and economics. The OTEC concept was first propounded by a French physicist, Jacques D'Arsonval, in 1881.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 7,  Sep 1977

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.