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Absence of convection currents in tropical waters; xref: feasibility of solar seawater distilliation

Warm seawater forces Conn. nuclear plant shutdown

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By STEPHEN SINGER, The Associated Press
Posted Aug. 13, 2012, at 12:58 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 13, 2012, at 3:09 p.m.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s nuclear power plant shut down one of two units Sunday because seawater used to cool down the plant is too warm.

========NH:
xref: convection concerns re: solarwaterenergy.net desalinization design.

xref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_thermal_energy_conversion

The absorption coefficient μ may range from 0.05 m−1 for very clear fresh water to 0.5 m−1 for very salty water.

Since the intensity falls exponentially with depth y, heat absorption is concentrated at the top layers. Typically in the tropics, surface temperature values are in excess of 25 °C (77 °F), while at 1 kilometer (0.62 mi), the temperature is about 5–10 °C (41–50 °F). The warmer (and hence lighter) waters at the surface means there are no thermal convection currents. Due to the small temperature gradients, heat transfer by conduction is too low to equalize the temperatures. The ocean is thus both a practically infinite heat source and a practically infinite heat sink.

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