There is an appreciable difference in temperature between the surface and the depths of the ocean and this can be used as a source of energy. In tropical regions the surface is at about 25°C and at about 1000 ft the temperature is 5°C, and this temperature difference is sufficient to drive a turbine. The feasibility of this process was first demonstrated in the 1930s by Georges Claude. More recently the idea has been developed by Abraham Levi and a 50 MW plant has been constructed off Hawaii.
The difficulties of these devices are the corrosiveness of the sea water, the problem of anchoring the device and transmitting the power generated to where it is needed.
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