Modeling the Physical and Biochemical Influence of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant Discharges into their Adjacent Waters
Modeling the Physical and Biochemical Influence of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant Discharges into their Adjacent Waters This paper describes the modeling work by Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc. to simulate the biochemical effects of of the nutrient-enhanced seawater plumes that are discharged by one or several 100 megawatt OTEC plants. The modeling is needed to properly design OTEC plants that can operate sustainably with acceptably low biological impact. In order to quantify the effect of discharge configuration and phytoplankton response, Makai Ocean Engineering implemented a biological and physical model for the waters surrounding O`ahu, Hawai`i, using the EPA-approved Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC). Each EFDC grid cell was approximately 1 square kilometer by 20 meters deep, and used a time step of three hours. The biological model was set up to simulate the biochemical response for three classes of organisms: Picoplankton (< 2 um) such as prochlorococccus, nanoplankton (2-20 um), and microplankton (> 20 um) e.g., diatoms. The dynamic biological phytoplankton model was calibrated using chemical and biological data collected for the Hawaii Ocean Time Series (HOTS) project. Peer review of the biological modeling was performed. The physical oceanography model uses boundary conditions from a surrounding Hawai'i Regional Ocean Model, (ROM) operated by the University of Hawai`i and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration. The ROM provided more »
Enter terms in the toolbar above to search the full text of this document for pages containing specific keywords.