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Floating barges could generate constant electricity using the ocean’s varying temperature

This article originally featured in The Skylark’s newsletter and was written as a condensed news in brief.

British scientists have developed a floating barge that uses a method called ocean thermal energy conversion – OTEC – to generate electricity from the ocean. The system works by drawing warm surface water into the barge’s exchanger, which vaporises a fluid that has an extremely low boiling point. The vapour then drives a turbine attached to an electricity generator before being turned back into a liquid using the cooling effects of colder water down below. The liquid could then return to the boiler when the process is constantly repeated. The system would work best in tropical oceans where warm seas are constant, providing a continuous supply of power 24hrs a day. This could be a vital step for Caribbean and Pacific island nations who heavily rely on importing oil and gas. The system is now set to be trailed in the Maldives with the support of the government.

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