OTEC

Very late in my life, in 48 when I was 52 years old… I had chosen engineering before I knew Inayat Khan. In fact, I didn’t know what I wanted to study. My father asked me and I said, “Well, something in the line of physics, medicine, geology, jusrisprudence, the whole lot.” And finally I had to concentrate on one thing so I took engineering because then you can travel and see things in various countries, and I wanted to travel, I wanted to see if the world was round. So one time I when I was the managing director of a small company, and I was in Paris I saw in the National Science Foundation of France a story about energy from the ocean. There were tides, waves, but especially the temperature difference between surface water and deep water. You put in a steam engine there. The warm water of the surface near the tropics evaporates, boils in a boiler, when you lower the pressure, when you pump air out. That steam that develops from this boiling runs a turbine, the turbine runs a generator. And after the turbine, the steam is condensed and this steam apart from being condensed is then fresh water. So you do two things with this machine: you produce energy and water. In California we had a great water shortage at that time. We still have but we have forgotten that, now we have a power shortage. Our power and water government agencies cannot cooperate, they have nothing to do with each other. That is one reason why it is so difficult to promote OTEC. Anyway, I dropped everything else when I found out about this, I said to myself, “This is what the world needs. This is what California needs, the United States, Canada, the world.”

(From a talk given in the late ’70s)

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Filed under Energy, Inayat Khan, OTEC, Shamcher

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