A preliminary design of the noncondensible gas removal system for a 10 MWe, land-based hybrid-cycle OTEC power plant has been developed and is presented herein. This gas removal system is very different from that used for conventional power plants because of the substantially larger and continuous noncondensible gas flow rates and lower condenser pressure levels which predicate the need for higher-efficiency components. Previous OTEC studies discussed the need for multiple high-efficiency compressors with intercoolers; however, no previous design effort was devoted to (a) the details of the intercoolers, (b) integration and optimization of the intercoolers with the compressors, and (c) the practical design constraints and feasibility issues of these components. The resulting gas removal system design uses centrifugal (radial) compressors with matrix-type crossflow aluminum heat exchangers as intercoolers. Once-through boiling of ammonia is used as the heat sink for the cooling and condensing of the steam-gas mixture. A computerized calculation method was developed for the performance analysis and subsystem optimization. For a specific number of compressor units and the stream arrangement, the method is used to calculate the dimensions, speeds, power requirements, and costs of all the components.

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