Japan is aiming to make the most of hydroelectricity and is willing to take on the strongest ocean current for it. That is exactly what the new Kairyu turbine is capable of, which is a true leviathan that can transform ocean currents into a virtually limitless supply of electricity.
Japan’s Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries, better known as IHI Corporation, has been working on this technology for more than 10 years. The company partnered with New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in 2017 to test its designs.
In February 2022, the company finally hit a major milestone of successfully conducting a three-and-a-half-year field test in the waters off Japan’s southwestern coast. The 330-ton prototype is called Kairyu, which translates to “ocean current”. It is made up of a 20-meter-long fuselage that is flanked by similar cylinders that house a power generation system attached to an 11-meter-long turbine blade.
How it Works
Once the machine is tethered to the ocean floor through an anchor line and power cables, it can automatically find the most efficient position to generate power through the water current. It can hover about 50 meters below the water surface. Once it floats towards the surface, the drag created provides the torque required by the turbines.
The blades can rotate in the opposite direction as well to keep the turbine stable.
IHI believes that if the energy inside oceans can be harnessed properly, it could produce up to 205 gigawatts of electricity, which is roughly the same amount the country currently generates from other sources.
Courtesy : proPakistani