MHK Technologies/Deep Water Pipelines

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Technology Profile
Primary Organization Makai Ocean Engineering Inc
Project(s) where this technology is utilized MHK Projects/OTEC
Technology Resource
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Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC)
Technology Type
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Closed-cycle
Technology Readiness Level
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TRL 5/6: System Integration and Technology Laboratory Demonstration
Technology Description Makai has designed and installed numerous deep water intake pipelines for OTEC (power generation) and Seawater Air Conditioning (cooling) applications. There are four pipelines supplying deep cold water to Makai's Ocean Energy Research Center and the rest of the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) in Kona, Hawaii:

Diameter Date Flow Intake Depth 12 inch 1980 1,200 gpm 500’ 18 inch 1987 3,000 gpm 2,100’ 40 inch 1987 13,400 gpm 2,200’ 55 inch 2001 27,000 gpm 3,000’

In 1979, the world's only net-power generating OTEC plant used a Makai design for the pipeline and mooring system.

Makai performed significant work on: - 8 ft DoE pipeline in 1980s. - India OTEC pipe concept design in 1999. - Developed pipe handling apparatus for novel OTEC Cold water pipe concept developed by Lockheed Martin - Related technology of SeaWater Air Conditioning has resulted in five other subsea pipelines for Cornell University, a resort in Bora Bora, and Toronto replacing 80 MW of electrical power formerly used to power conventional AC systems.

Designed to Operate with Shore Connection? Yes




Distance from Shore (m) 1km to 6km
Technology Dimensions
Device Testing
Have Key Components Been Fabricated and Tested in the Lab? Yes
If Yes, Please Explain Makai performs extensive RDT&E on high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, which are the primary material for the deep water intake pipelines


Full-Scale Test •This technology has been demonstrated at the commercial scale.
Do Records of Operation of System Prove Reliable Performance? Yes
If Yes, Please Explain NELHA has the best operational database for deep water pipelines. In 2012-2013 NELHA hired Makai, Global Diving and Healey Tibbits to repair the 40" diam pipe which was properly installed. It had served in continuous operation for 26 years (with a design life of 10 years).
Number of Devices Sold 10+
Relevant Technical Publications http://journals.tdl.org/icce/index.php/icce/article/viewFile/4403/4084

Was This Project DOE Funded? No

Date Submitted 2014/03/27

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