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Title: Flexible ocean upwelling pipe

In an ocean thermal energy conversion facility, a cold water riser pipe is releasably supported at its upper end by the hull of the floating facility. The pipe is substantially vertical and has its lower end far below the hull above the ocean floor. The pipe is defined essentially entirely of a material which has a modulus of elasticity substantially less than that of steel, e.g., high density polyethylene, so that the pipe is flexible and compliant to rather than resistant to applied bending moments. The position of the lower end of the pipe relative to the hull is stabilized by a weight suspended below the lower end of the pipe on a flexible line. The pipe, apart from the weight, is positively buoyant. If support of the upper end of the pipe is released, the pipe sinks to the ocean floor, but is not damaged as the length of the line between the pipe and the weight is sufficient to allow the buoyant pipe to come to a stop within the line length after the weight contacts the ocean floor, and thereafter to float submerged above the ocean floor while moored to the ocean floor by the weight. Themore » upper end of the pipe, while supported by the hull, communicates to a sump in the hull in which the water level is maintained below the ambient water level. The sump volume is sufficient to keep the pipe full during heaving of the hull, thereby preventing collapse of the pipe.« less
  1. (Los Alamitos, CA)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
US 4231312
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Research Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
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