Monday, October 7, 2013


It was in 1979 that Lockheed succeeded in attaining net positive with the 50 kW Mini-OTEC (above), a closed cycle ocean thermal energy conversion platform, off the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA).  In 1982, a team from Japan also advanced the field with a closed cycle 100 kW OTEC system on Nauru (left).  That was the last true net positive experiment, although the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research in 1993 gained fame with an open cycle 210 kW (world record net power of  103 kW) facility at NELHA, which produced electricity and freshwater (below):

Two decades later, a 50 kW OTEC system is now producing electricity at Kumejima, Okinawa.

The first week of September saw considerable activity in OTEC, as reported in the following postings:

Among the key participants of the gatherings above included Robert Varley of Lockheed Martin (which announced an OTEC partnership with China--photo of signing to left included Secretary of State John Kerry), Ted Johnson of Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation (which recently announced a $7.7 million equity offering) and Eileen O'Rourke of OTEC International, who talked about their 1 MW OTEC experiment to be built at NELHA and the status of a partnership with Hawaii Electric Company to build a 100 MW OTEC commercial plant for Honolulu (top to bottom):

The OTEC Africa Conference will be held in Boras, Sweden next week, where discussed will be the latest developments:


Sunday, May 26, 2013

MARINE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY: Pacific International Ocean Station

At a gathering of the Hawaii Chapter of the Marine Technology Society (MTS) on 23May13, Benny Ron gave a presentation on the Pacific International Ocean Station (PIOS):

Seafood, at -$10 billion and growing, is next to petroleum (yes, even with fracking, 50% of our current use is imported), as the cause of our negative balance of trade.  Next generation fisheries will be one of the many potential foci being contemplated for PIOS.

MTS is celebrating its 50th year anniversary, as highlighted here with Benny and Leighton Chong:


Thursday, January 10, 2013

PIOS: Colloquy with John Pina Craven

Our Story of the Blue Revolution started with John Pina Craven, so it was appropriate to begin the next phase of development for the Pacific International Ocean Station (PIOS) with an information exchange to gain his ancient mariner wisdom.  Above, Professor Craven pontificating on the merits of this particular mock-up of a very large floating platform.  At his home this afternoon, interacting with him were George Ariyoshi, Fujio Matsuda, John  Farias, Leighton Chong, Matt Matsunaga, Ken Sanders, Patrick Takahashi and, as interlocutor, Benny Ron.  Associates of John were his wife Dorothy and (does anyone have the name of John's assistant?).

John is one of those individuals who needs no introduction, but let us anyway indicate that he was born in New York City 88 years ago; has science, engineering and law degrees from the Californian Institute of Technology, the University of Iowa and George Washington University, respectively; served as Chief Scientist of the U.S. Navy's Special Projects Office (where his activities were well-chronicled in books such as Blind Man's Bluff and his The Silent War); and arrived in 1970 to stay in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as the Marine Affairs Coordinator for the State of Hawaii, where he founded the original facility for what is now the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority at Keahole Point on the Big Island of Hawaii.

He regaled us with old sea stories, weaving into the fabric of his life people like Hyman Rickover, Richard Nixon, John Burns, Kiyonori Kikutake and Marlon Brandon.  The bottom line is that he encouraged Blue Revolution Hawaii to keep proceeding with the Pacific International Ocean Station, for if not us, then who.  He strongly felt that the technical aspects of the sustainable ocean system with the co-products were eminently attainable, but we should be particularly sensitive to, and in fact, will actively need to overcome, the political, sociological, economic and environmental factors, which will make or break our efforts.  Finally, here is our Man of the Ocean: