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New wind turbine that harnesses the energy of typhoons could power Japan for 50 years

By midian182 ยท 22 replies
Sep 30, 2016
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  1. Japan feels the devastating effects of typhoons several times per year – in 2016 alone there have already been six. They can cause a trail of destruction, along with many dead and injured civilians who get caught in their path. But an engineer from the country has designed a new type of wind turbine that can harness this immense energy and use it for good.

    Atsushi Shimizu claims that a series of his prototype devices could collect enough energy from a single typhoon to power the whole of Japan for 50 years.

    The unique, egg beater-shaped turbine’s omnidirectional vertical axis can withstand an intense storm’s powerful winds and rain. Moreover, the speed of the blades are adjustable, meaning they won’t spin wildly out of control – a big problem with super typhoon speeds reaching up to 150 mph.

    The Fukushima disaster saw Japan turn away from nuclear power. It now imports 84 percent of its energy requirements. "Our generation reaped the benefit of nuclear power - we never experience a power blackout because of it," Shimizu says. "Now we are responsible for changing the future."

    CNN reports that while Japan has tried to use wind energy in the past, the attempts have largely proved unsuccessful.

    "For decades, Japan has brought in European-style wind turbines, not designed for typhoon zones, and installed them with no careful consideration - they've broken almost entirely," added Shimizu.

    Modern, propeller-based turbines generally achieve a 40 percent efficiency rate. While Shimizu’s turbines hit 30 percent efficiency, their advantage is that they can work during a typhoon.

    Shimizu’s company, Challenergy, installed one of the prototypes in Okinawa earlier this year. He now wants another to be located either on the Tokyo tower or at the new National Stadium. A method of storing 50 years of power would also be helpful.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,806   +1,541

    It looks impressive, but suggesting such a long span of storage without explaining "HOW" they will store that power leaves a great deal of doubt ..... only time will tell.
  3. Fabio Turati

    Fabio Turati TS Enthusiast Posts: 27   +11

    "Atsushi Shimizu claims that a series of his prototype devices could collect enough energy from a single typhoon to power the whole of Japan for 50 years": when I read this, my bullshit detector went off. I'd be glad to be proven wrong, though.
    SalaSSin likes this.
  4. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Addict Posts: 129   +119

    Are you guys sure he means to store the power for 50 years or that the turbines have the potential to power the country for 50 years as long as the typhoons keep up at the rate they are occurring?
    SalaSSin likes this.
  5. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 997   +93

    As I read it, one typhoon would be able to generate 50 years of power if they had a way to store the energy.
    treetops likes this.
  6. mark kram

    mark kram TS Rookie

    This is close to what I envisioned a hurricane proof windmill to look like years ago. However, the Japanese are not showing it's adjustable sails that extends to the center post and scroll into three rolls during high wind conditions. Stay tuned because this is an unfinished product.
  7. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Enthusiast Posts: 82   +38

    I guess the 50 years statement is an example of how much power it could produce on a typhoon, the title makes it look like the main feature.
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,840   +1,184

    Yes, and the sun shines enough solar energy on the Earth every second to power the US for a year...

    To say 'all we need is a way to store it' is sort of like saying - we could go to Mars if only we had a spaceship. Easy to say - impossible to pull off.
  9. XLW2022

    XLW2022 TS Rookie

    One Typhoon provides Energy for 50 years???

    The author is lost in translation and confuses the audience.
  10. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,047   +321

    Coulda used that in the 30's and saved a lot of lives
  11. mark kram

    mark kram TS Rookie

    If you compare the video rendition to the artist's rendition you find 3 lobe upper and lower frames in the vid with 3 poles and t shaped upper and lower frames in the drawing with 6 poles along with a sail between 3 pair of poles. The limiting factor in this design is how much weight the lower bearing can handle after the frame is lifted hydraulically. Today's wind generators have the ability to sense wind speed, use the generator as a motor, ramp up shaft speed to a slight overspeed, open the output breakers and when the shaft slows to match grid phase, reclose the breakers. This design will use the same strategy, except, if it spins faster than traditional wind generators it can use thrust to counter weight.
    ManuelV likes this.
  12. mark kram

    mark kram TS Rookie

    Looking at the drawing indicates these are built to work in normal winds and are capable of withstanding typhoons.
  13. max cinta

    max cinta TS Rookie

    Pay it forward now, and they pay it back later.
  14. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,462   +1,740

    If you want the most powerful generator, build one to harvest bullshit, it will never stop.
  15. Kreegir

    Kreegir TS Rookie

    The biggest single issue with the electricity industry is that it doesn't have an inventory system. we need batteries with the ability to store 5x or 10x the amount of power that today's can hold per unit of volume. At less cost would be a nice benefit too :)
    VersPrime and Raoul Duke like this.
  16. "A method of storing...power would be helpful"
    there is the whole problem for the globe in a nutshell. Any method invented/discovered so far isn't worth a ****.
    If we could solve that, then we would be getting someplace
  17. peter p

    peter p TS Rookie

    Total nonsense. Of course the guy is going to make whatever nutty claims he thinks he can put over. Maybe if there were 10,000 of these turbines all running at the same time, it might store up a lot of power; but even then, enough for "all Japan for the next 50 years"? Cut it out
  18. koblongata

    koblongata TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +12

    Germany is having trouble dealing with excessive green power, they even have to pay their neighbors so they can offload the excess to the neighbor's grid.
  19. esenchung

    esenchung TS Rookie

  20. soulsassassin

    soulsassassin TS Addict Posts: 108   +42

    obviously you cant store energy I think what he meant is the amount of energy that can be harvested is equal to 50 years of usage
  21. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 654   +288

    I think this is just a translation issue. He was commenting on the shear amount of power in a single typhoon (enough to last Japan 50yrs), and his system can survive a typhoon. I don't think he was trying to claim that his system would give Japan 50yrs of energy after a single Typhoon. If they could, they would turn into the largest energy exporter the world has ever seen practically over night, and Japan would already be building it.

    He might also have markets in the American Gulf coast, the American Northeast (their Nor' Easters often achieve hurricane-level wind speeds), and any other modern powerful-storm-prone area.
  22. Techtree101

    Techtree101 TS Rookie

    This is the kind of innovation I love to see. Wind and solar power are really hitting new low cost levels at or near parity of other technologies.
  23. megetian

    megetian TS Rookie

    I dont know about useing it jusst to catch storm weather push but maybe smaller as a more effecient fan for devices like tvs and computors the ability to have a longer design other than the flat type curent fans scoop it a little more give it a spiral curveing and stood on the old fan motor still gets more air covverage area as the edge of a tv right or left or even both for more cooling the worst feature of computors so far that they over heat and freeze stuck because of it so smaller better use slight more curveing and scooping like a paddle boat type fan

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