Ammonia Turbine Design for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Plants

[+] Author and Article Information
C. H. Kostors

Elliott Company, Division of Carrier Corp., Jeannette, PA 15644

S. P. Vincent

OTEC-1, Ocean and Energy Systems, TRW Defense and Space Systems Group, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

J. Sol. Energy Eng 103(2), 92-97 (May 01, 1981) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3266231 History: Received December 30, 1980; Online November 11, 2009


During the optimization studies of a 10-MWe (net) OTEC power system the ammonia turbine design study led to selection of a four-stage, double-flow axial turbine yielding 89.6 percent efficiency at 1800 rpm. To maximize power at off-nominal conditions, variable nozzles are used for the first stage. The turbine is directly connected to a four-pole, 60-Hz synchronous generator having 97.2 percent efficiency. This study was limited to state-of-the-art hardware designs for axial- and radial-flow turbines, single- and double-flow designs, and variations in the base diameter and number of turbine stages. The gasdynamic calculation procedure and the effects of the turbine generator control scheme, turbine blade design, materials (annealed AISI Type 403 steel is chosen for the blading), and seals and bearings are addressed in this paper. The estimated mass-production cost of the turbine-generator set is approximately $150/kWe at 10-MWe (net) size in 1979 dollars. Single-flow-axial and radial-inflow turbines would have lower performance without sufficiently lower cost to be cost-effective, since each percentage point of turbine efficiency is estimated to be worth 17 to $28/kWe .

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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