The Multiple Product Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Project (MPOP) of the Republic of China was featured at the 1990 Oceanology International Conference and Exhibition (OI '90), held in Brighton, England in March.
This was the 21st anniversary for this major event in the international ocean calendar which originally took place every three years, but is now biennial. It was the largest and most successful show in the whole series, with over 500 exhibitors, and over 100 papers given at the conference ¡Ð which was extended to meet the demand for a specific International Session, and also a session devoted exclusively to papers on Hydrophysics and Acoustics from the USSR. Other session titles were: Oceanology; Oceanography; Survey; European Marine Technology Initiatives; Hydrography/Geology/Geophysics/Geotechnics; EEZ's and Coastal Zones; together with a complete parallel set of sessions on defence applications with the titles: Underwater Physical Activities; Mine and Antimine; Sonar; Acoustics; Power and Power Sources; and Sensors and Related Signal Processing.
The MPOP paper, authored by Paul Yuen of the University of Hawaii, Shih-Chi Wang of the Industrial Technology Research Institute, and Don Lennard of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Systems Ltd. of the UK, was presented at the Conference by the third author.
The paper drew heavily on the MPOP development plan prepared by the Pacific International Centre for High Technology Research of Hawaii for the Republic of China, which was discussed in Taipei in December, 1989 by an international gathering of specialists, and presented on that occasion by Dr. Paul Yuen.
Other papers in the International Session at Brighton in March, with the Taiwan paper, came from the USA, France, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia and the UK. An enthusiastic and interested audience listened to the presentation on the development plan for MPOP, which highlighted the initiative taken by the Energy Commission of the Republic of China in commissioning this study for a 5 MW pilot OTEC plant with associated mariculture facilities.
The OI' 90 presentation described the plan, including both technical and financial goals, and the additional objective of technology transfer which it represented with the intention of up-grading Taiwan's technology and engineering capabilities. Local firms in Taiwan will be selected to work with the Systems Integration contractor of the MPOP, and with major sub-contractors from outside the ROC.
It was clear from the questions following the presentation that many of those in the multi-disciplinary and international audience had not previously been aware of the Taiwan OTEC proposals, and a number of detailed questions were asked. There was particular interest in the short timescale envisaged - 9 years - for the completion of a commercial OTEC plant, following success with the MPOP.
Other questions related to the "products" in addition to energy itself which could be derived from an OTEC plant - air conditioning, food processing, fresh water - and the particular value of the pathogen-free and nutrient-rich deep water.
Altogether, an opportunity was siezed spread the word about the Taiwan OTEC plans in particular, and the benefits - including the environmentally beign nature - of OTEC generally.
Copies of the full proceedings of the Conference (in 4 volumes) are available from the address below. Plans are also in hand for the UK Society for Underwater Technology, sponsors of OI' 90, to publish the Taiwan OTEC paper in their Journal later in the year.
Conference Proceedings are available from:
Spearhead Conferences and Exhibitions Ltd.,
55/59 fife Road,
Surrey KT1 1TA
Tel: +44 81 549 5831
Fax: +44 81 541 5657
(Don E. Lennard, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Systems, Ltd. U.K.)