MHK Projects/Makai Ocean Energy Research Center

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Project Profile
Project Start Date 2009/07/01
Estimated End Date 2017/12/31
Project Status Active
Project City Kailua-Kona
Project State/Province Hawaii
Project Country United States
Project Resource
Click here
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion
Project Nearest Body of Water Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 19.727629719167°, -156.05890274048°
Project Footprint(km2) 0.0001
Project Phase Phase 3
Project Phase Date 2014/01/01
Project Details Makai Ocean Engineering has designed, owns, and operates a closed-cycle OTEC system in Kailua-Kona Hawaii. True deep cold seawater is drawn from a depth of about 2,000 ft using the deep pipelines (that were also designed by Makai) provided at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA). This closed-cycle system uses ammonia as the working fluid, and features the ability to test and easily "swap out" candidate OTEC heat exchangers, which are critical to the overall economics of OTEC.

As of Feb 2014, this is the largest closed cycle system in the world. A turbine, rated at 100kW, will be installed on the power cycle some time in late 2014. This will be the largest operational OTEC plant in the world, as well as the only closed-cycle OTEC plant ever connected to a U.S. electrical grid.

This facility was funded by Makai Ocean Engineering, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), and Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC).

Project Installed Capacity (MW) 0.1
Permit/License Buildout (MW) 0.1
Device Nameplate Capacity (MW) 0.1
Was This Project DOE Funded? No
Number of Devices Deployed 1
Number of Build Out Units Deployed 1
Device Units Sold? No


Main Overseeing Organization Makai Ocean Engineering Inc

Project Technology MHK Technologies/OTEC
Project Timeline and Milestones •2009 - received funding to build the closed cycle OTEC plant, also known as the OTEC heat exchanger test facility.

2011 - dedication of the completed HX facility 2013 - received additional funds to install a 100kW turbine 2014 - installing turbine and connecting to the U.S. grid

Project Licensing
Permit Title None
Permit Description Makai's land based OTEC plant did not require an offshore permit. The offshore pipelines from which the OTEC plant draws seawater were previously permitted by NELHA.
United States Permit No
Has the US Preliminary Permit Been Obtained? No














Environmental Monitoring and Mitigation Efforts See Tethys

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