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One typhoon can provide entire Japan with energy for 50 years

The famous Japan for? Anime, manga, cat cafes, robots, and even typhoons. And if the first ones bring money and excitement to the population, the typhoons bring only death and serious damage to infrastructure.

However, one Japanese engineer wondered: what if we try to find at least some benefit from this all-destroying natural phenomenon? In this way a wind turbine project that could curb the power of these catastrophic storms and turn it into useful energy emerged. If the project proves its worth, the stored energy of a single typhoon would be enough for Japan for 50 years!

The inventor of the world's first typhoon turbine – a surprisingly robust construction, capable of not only withstanding the powerful forces generated by typhoons, but also converting that power into usable energy – is Atsushi Shimizu. Engineer's calculations show that in the presence of several of these turbines, they will be able to generate from the energy of a single typhoon so much electricity that it will be enough for residents of Japan for 50 years.

Shimizu shows the model of his typhoon turbine

Given the fact that Japan is currently experiencing some shortage of electricity (as a result of the disaster at the nuclear power plant “Fukushima” station in 2011), the idea proposed by the engineer may be extremely useful.

"In fact, Japan is able to rely more on wind energy rather than solar, if we talk about alternatives. But for some reason we use it is not very actively," Shimizu said in an interview with CNN.

Shimizu is actually right in his statements. This year alone, Japan has experienced 6 typhoons. The engineer is the founder of Challenergy, engaged in research and development of alternative sources of energy, and believes that Japan has the potential to become the ‘wind superpower’.

A working prototype of the turbine typhoon

A working prototype of the typhoon turbine is different from the usual in two important aspects. Firstly, they use omniaxis axle for machine's capacity to withstand the various wind directions. Secondly, the blades' speed of such turbine can be adjusted based on the wind speed in order to prevent structural failure.

The efficiency of a compact prototype of Shimizu's typhoon turbine made 30 percent, which is about 10 percent lower than conventional blade turbines that are now being used in many countries. Nevertheless, the main difference between the Japanese turbine from all others, of course, is that it is able to survive the storm. Shimizu notes that even in 2013 the Yusagi typhoon destroyed eight conventional turbines and damaged as much. His own installation, on the contrary, would be able to survive this catastrophic natural phenomenon.

A functioning prototype was installed near Okinawa earlier this summer. The next step is to test the device under conditions of strong wind. In other words, the typhoon is needed.

It is not entirely clear how the resulting typhoon energy will be transferred and accumulated. Perhaps it will be transmitted directly to the power plant or it will be initially stored in large storage facilities. But the engineer promised to solve this issue.


  • October 18, 2016 9:07 AM MSK