Typhoon-powered wind turbine aims to siphon energy from a force of nature

japan typhoon power wind energy turbine challenergy
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the uppermost layer of Earth’s oceans are warming at a rate of 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. As the oceans warm, scientists predict a future filled with increasingly more powerful hurricanes and tropical storms. These massive weather phenomena can create wind speeds greater than 150 miles per hour. This is, of course, a tremendous amount of energy.

With our growing reliance on clean wind energy, it was only a matter of time before someone attempted to tap into typhoon energy. Challenergy, a pioneering Japanese engineering firm, believes it is ready to harness the power of a raging Mother Nature.

Engineer Atsushi Shimizu with his typhoon-grade wind turbine
Engineer Atsushi Shimizu with his typhoon-grade wind turbine Challenergy

Typhoons wreak havoc on many nations, resulting in a loss of human life, as well as millions of dollars in damage. Japan knows this all too well, with an average of nearly three typhoons making landfall on the Asian Pacific nation annually. Engineer Atsushi Shimizu hopes his new invention, the world’s first typhoon-powered wind turbine will help the nation power itself in the decades to come.

The Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory claims that a single typhoon can produce the kinetic energy equivalent to roughly 50 percent of the world’s electrically generated energy. A lone typhoon would theoretically create enough energy to power Japan for nearly half a century. Moreover, Japan imports about 84 percent of its energy, meaning this technology could greatly increase the nation’s energy independence.

Japan has tried to use European wind turbine models to capitalize on typhoons in the past. Unfortunately, these models were never meant for such scenarios and tend to fail during such extreme conditions. Challenergy looks to succeed where all other green energy companies have so far failed.

Shimizu’s turbine is rather innocuous to behold. The contraption looks more like an industrial-sized egg beater than it does your run-of-the-mill wind turbine. The compact design is aimed at helping to minimize the risk of structural failure. While traditional wind turbines use more a triad of blades on a single rotary, this typhoon model includes three independent cylinders. These cylinders look to utilize what is known as the Magnus effect. This design capacity allows the turbine to harness wind coming from several directions rather than being limited to a single directional wind like traditional turbines.

The Challenergy team claims its turbine is capable of withstanding typhoon-strength winds and then some. Shimizu believes his invention can withstand winds up to 80 meters per second. We’ll have to wait to see just how much of Mother Nature’s wrath this turbine can actually take. The model has tested well in the laboratory, but the turbine has yet to face an actual typhoon. Shimizu and his team hope to  have their revolutionary turbine ready by 2020, just in time for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.


Print your heart’s desire: Enter our giveaway to win a free Monoprice 3D printer

We’re giving away a $400 Monoprice MP Voxel 3D Printer. It's easy to use, especially for beginners, with its simple menu system and touchscreen display. It comes fully assembled so you can spend more time printing instead of setting up.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.

The Titan RTX graphics card is nearly here. Here's what you need to know

The Nvidia Titan RTX is arguably the most powerful consumer graphics card ever made, even if it's not really aimed at consumers. It bridges the 2080 Ti and RTX Quadro cards with boat loads of power.

Conquer the cold season with the best heated clothing and outdoor apparel

If you're thinking about going outside this winter, heated apparel is a must. Luckily, we've rounded up some of the best heated clothing, whether you're looking for battery-powered gloves or heated insoles.
Emerging Tech

Makerbot is back with a new 3D printer that’s faster and more precise than ever

MakerBot's new Method 3D printer aims to bridge the gap between home 3D printers and more industrial 3D printing tech. Here are a few of the tantalizing things you can expect from it.
Emerging Tech

Warm ski beanie instantly hardens into a head-protecting helmet upon impact

Wool hats are way more comfortable than hard helmets. You know what they're not? Safer. That could soon change, thanks to an innovative new ski beanie which instantly hardens upon impact.

Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Emerging Tech

This unusual nature-inspired robot is equally at home on land or in the water

This intriguing, nature-inspired robot may look unusual, but it's impressively capable of moving on both land and water without problem. Heck, it can even travel on ice if necessary.
Emerging Tech

This cryptocurrency wallet for kids isn’t nearly as stupid as it sounds

So you’ve taught your 6-year-old child to read, write, and play nice with others. What’s next? Give them a base understanding of cryptocurrency, of course. This Kickstarter aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.