Atsushi Shimizu, an engineer based in Tokyo, believes that his bladeless wind turbines may help Japan solve its energy woes by generating more wind energy in the future.
Shimizu claims that his new wind turbines will not only withstand the force brought by destructive typhoons, but will also harness that energy to generate electricity.
Unlike traditional turbines, Shimizu’s turbines have a central rod and three cylinders that respond to wind coming from any direction without the use of a propeller. Instead, they make use of the Magnus effect, which detects air curves when passing by a spinning object. As the inventor stated:
“There are some estimates that wind power has more potential here than solar. But we haven’t been able to turn that much of this wind power into actual energy here in Japan.”
In the wake of the 2011 Fukushima accident, the country shut down several of its nuclear reactors and turned heavily to fossil fuels. Now, the Japanese people are resisting efforts to switch the reactors back on in a bid to cut pollution, which increased interest in renewable energy sources. But still, there is not sufficient wind energy to support the electricity needs of the millions of people in the country. Now, Shimizu and other researchers are determined to make a difference.
Shimizu and his staff had already tested a prototype of his bladeless wind turbines in southern Okinawa. During the experiment, they found out that it can withstand wind forces that can usually ruin three-blade turbines. While some remain skeptical of his turbine’s chances, Shimizu has high hopes for his creation to be significantly useful not only in Japan, but also in other countries that often experience wind-packed storms.