The Ocean Thermal Extractable Energy Visualization (OTEEV) project focuses on assessing the Maximum Practicably Extractable Energy (MPEE) from the world’s ocean thermal resources. MPEE is defined as being sustainable and technically feasible, given today’s state-of-the-art ocean energy technology. Under this project the OTEEV team developed a comprehensive Geospatial Information System (GIS) dataset and software tool, and used the tool to provide a meaningful assessment of MPEE from the global and domestic U.S. ocean thermal resources.
The OTEEV project leverages existing NREL renewable energy GIS technologies and integrates extractable energy estimated from quality-controlled data and projected optimal achievable energy conversion rates. Input data are synthesized from a broad range of existing in-situ measurements and ground-truthed numerical models with temporal and spatial resolutions sufficient to reflect the local resource. Energy production rates are calculated for regions based on conversion rates estimated for current technology, local energy density of the resource, and sustainable resource extraction. Plant spacing and maximum production rates are then estimated based on a default plant size and transmission mechanisms. The resulting data are organized, displayed, and accessed using a multi-layered GIS mapping tool, http://maps.nrel.gov/mhk_atlas with a user-friendly graphical user interface.