Funded project

Ocean Thermal Energy (ETM) technology is designed to produce constant renewable electricity. Based on a (steam-driven) thermal motor installed on an offshore or onshore platform, this energy-generating system exploits the natural temperature difference between surface and deep water in equatorial and tropical seas.

Thermodynamic fluid in an embedded closed circuit vaporizes in a heat exchanger (evaporator) as a result of the warm surface seawater. Under pressure, the vapour drives a turbine which, connected to a generator, produces electricity. As a result of the cold seawater, the vapour then re-condenses in another exchanger (condenser) and can thus begin a new cycle. OTE is therefore a basic renewable energy.

The MARLIN project is proposing through laboratory research and testing to develop and describe different materials for piping deep water and to offer a choice of solutions as to the composition of the constituent elements, and will validate their durability. Models of the piping will be validated on mock-ups in tank tests. Real-life tests in tropical seas will then be carried out over 3 years. The MARLIN project will also test innovative solutions for heat exchangers and will describe methods of treating biofouling.

 A specific test bench will initially be created in Cherbourg before being installed in Martinique for a period of two and a half years to take advantage of the tropical seawater conditions.


  • - Naval Energies, Nantes  [Project Developer]
Research centers
  • - France Energies Marines
  • - Ifremer, Brest
Local authorities
  • - Région Martinique
  • - Région Pays de la Loire
  • - Région Réunion
Other partner
  • - Université de La Réunion
Overall budget
17 088 K€