Since the tragic meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011, authorities have been searching for new sources of green energy. And it seems like they will not stop until they find sustainable, and efficient source.
Bloomberg reports that Japanese heavy equipment manufacturer IHI Corp has successfully tested a prototype of an airplane-sized turbine capable of generating electricity from strong deep-sea currents, laying the foundation for a promising new renewable energy source. .. It does not depend on sunny days or strong winds.
The Dragonite is the company’s latest prototype, weighing 330 tons. A large hull connects two counter-rotating turbine fans, allowing all equipment to be mounted on the seabed and float between 100 and 160 feet below the water’s surface.
The turbine will run off of one of the strongest currents in the world off the east coast of Japan.
The company could generate about 100 kilowatts of constant power during the demonstration earlier this year. According to Bloomberg, IHI Corp will generate 2 MW in subsequent tests, and commercial operation will begin in the 2030s.
This massive turbine isn’t the only option Japan is scouring for energy. Especially in dire situations like this where the country has promised not to rely on Russia for power. Hence, Japan is also dipping its toes in experimenting with energy generation through tides and thermal energy within the ocean.
The engineers face the daunting task of developing a sustainable process that could also meet the demand. According to ocean energy expert Angus McCrone, “The greatest difficulty with current ocean turbines is the ability to design a system that can generate electricity cheaply from medium currents.”
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