Ocean temperature energy conversion (OTEC) power plants generate power by utilizing the naturally occurring decrease with depth of the temperature of ocean water. Near Florida, the ocean surface temperature is 27 C, while at a depth of 700 m the temperature is 7 C.
(a) Determine the maximum thermal efficiency for any power cycle operating between these temperatures.
(b) The thermal efficiency of existing OTEC plants is approximately 2 percent. Compare this with the result of part (a) and comment.
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Geothermal power plants harness underground sources of hot water or steam for the production of electricity. One such plant receives a supply of hot water at 167 C and rejects energy by heat transfer to the atmosphere, which is at 13 C. Determine the maximum possible thermal efficiency for any power cycle operating between these temperatures.