Hurum osmotic power plant

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What power plant would you like to tell us about I would like to tell you about osmosis power plant. Where is the plant located country city The world’s first osmotic energy plant is located in Tofte Norway. Is it a combined heat-and-power plant It is not heat power plant.



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Hurum osmotic power plant

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Vladislav. I am a student of the Northern Arctic Federal University in the Institute of Energy and Transport at the department of Electricity power Engineering.

  1.  What power plant would you like to tell us about?

I would like to tell you about osmosis power plant.

  1.  Where is the plant located (country, city)?

The world's first osmotic energy plant is located in Tofte, Norway.


  1.  Is it a combined heat-and-power plant?

It is not heat power plant. It is  an electric power plant.

  1.  What company operates the plant?

 Norwegian energy company Statkraft operate the plant.

  1.  Is it a big power plant?

It is not a big power plant. It is only a prototype.

  1.  What kind of power plant is it ?( What source of energy does it use to generate electricity?)

The power plant uses the osmotic gradient that occurs when fresh water and salt water meet, separated by a permeable membrane. The salt water pulls fresh water through the membrane and the pressure increases on the salt-water side; this pressure increase can be used to produce electrical power with the use of a normal hydroelectric turbine/generator setup.

  1.  Is it clean? Does it produce any gases harmful for the environment?

Its clean, it does not produce any gases harmful for the environment, but Marine and river environments have obvious differences in water quality, namely salinity. Each species of aquatic plant and animal is adapted to survive in either marine, brackish, or freshwater environments. There are species that can tolerate both, but these species usually thrive best in a specific water environment. According to the prevailing environmentalist opinions, the possibility of these negative effects should be considered by the operators of future large blue energy establishments.

  1.  Is it renewable? 

It is renewable, because plant uses water.

  1.  Is it an old power plant? When was it built? Why?

The plant is a prototype developed together with Sintef and began test power production on 24 November 2009. Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway officially opened the plant. This plant had been planned since the summer of 2008. It is prototype plant.

  1.  What do you know about the history of the plant and its construction?

The generation of electric energy through osmosis was developed by Sidney Loeb during the 1970s. Work on the theoretical potential of the osmotic power was carried out by Torleif Holt and Thor Thorsen during the 1980s.

In 1997, a project to implement the osmotic power generation technology was established by Holt and Thorsen in collaboration with renewable energy company Statkraft.

EU funds were awarded to osmotic power research in 2001. The funds awarded accelerated the research work being carried out, leading to the first environmental study also being carried out in 2001. Statkcraft filed the first patent for osmotic power membranes in 2003, after which the company opened a test facility at Sunndalsøra.

The prototype of the osmotic power plant was constructed in 2008 at Tofte, Hurum, in Buskerud County, Norwa

  1.  Did the construction of the plant cause any ecological damage or change?

The construction of the plant did not damage ecological system, because the plant is located in  rooms at the factory area at Södra Cell Tofte cellulose factory. The Cellulose factory was built before this plant.

  1.  What investments were made into the project?

Statkraft estimates it spent over ten years and more than 100 million kroner (about $12 million USD) in research funds to help develop one of these techniques, pressure retarded osmosis (PRO), in the prototype facility at Tofte. It's a big investment for a facility that has only enough capacity to operate a coffee machine, but size of output isn't the key metric for researchers at this point. Statkraft views the Tofte experiment as a lab for learning how to capitalize on osmotic power´s huge potential and strong environmental credentials


  1.   What is the principle of work of this power plant?

Seawater is pumped into a pressure chamber that is at a pressure lower than the difference between the pressures of saline water and fresh water. Freshwater is also pumped into the pressure chamber through a membrane, which increase both the volume and pressure of the chamber. As the pressure differences are compensated, a turbine is spun, providing kinetic energy.

  1.  What machinery and equipment is used here?

Generators, turbines, pumps, reactors are used here.

  1.  What is the installed capacity of the power plant? (What is its power output? How much energy does it produce?)

The expected  power output is between 2-4 kW. With better membranes it is assumed that the power for a similar plant can be increased to about 10 kW.

  1.  What area does the plant supply electricity to? (What are the customers of the power plant?)

It aims to produce enough electricity to light and heat a small town within five years by osmosis. 

  1.  Is the power plant efficient?

Nowadays I think this power plant is not efficient. It is  highly reliable, simple and cheap to run/maintain, but plant is very expensive to install. The permeable membrane is currently an expensive resource, and to have any meaningful output, a very large membrane area is required. The plant described in this article could reach a power output of 4 kW in ideal conditions. But in the future It will can efficient power plant, because scientists will  increase the power output per plant volume over time.

  1.   How is the generated electricity distributed?

It is prototype and all electricity is used for research.

  1.   Are people happy to have this plant nearby?

I think people are happy to have this plant nearby, because plant will supply their electricity in future.


  1.  Statkraft Osmotic Power Plant, Norway http://www.powertechnology.com/projects/statkraft-osmotic/
  2.  Q&A Osmotic power


  1.  Osmotic power


  1.  Statkraft osmotic power prototype in Hurum


  1.  Technology


  1.  Advantages and disadvantages of osmotic power



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