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Japan to harness the energy of the ocean, Deep sea turbine pass tests

Japan to harness the energy of the ocean, Deep sea turbine pass tests

In an attempt to tap into a strong and abundant source of renewable energy, Japan is dropping a turbine into the ocean. The 330-tun power generator is built to withstand ocean currents and convert its flow into an endless supply of electricity.

The prototype is named Kairyu translating to ocean currents. It has a 20-metre-long fuselage flanked by two cylinders of equal size. Each cylinder holds a power generation system connected to an 11-metre-long turbine blade.

When the North Pacific gyre meets Japan, it forms the relatively strong Kuroshio current. The device can identify the most optimal place to generate power as per the push of the current. It will be anchored to the ocean floor by power cables.

The new piece of tech is being introduced at a time when the world is pushing for sustainable sources of energy instead of fossil fuels. Kairyu went through a three-and-a-half-year test in the waters of southwestern Japan. After completing the test in February 2022, the turbine was approved.

Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI Corporation) has been experimenting with the technology for over a decade. The firm joined hands with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in 2017 to work on the concept of converting ocean currents into electricity.

IHI estimates that the Kairyu can generate about 205 gigawatts of electricity. This is comparable to the country's current power-producing capacity.

Japan is largely reliant on fossil fuel imports and making use of its coastline will transform the country's economy as well as sustainability. Kairyu is expected to be operational sometime in the 2030s.

A plan to build another similar turbine that can generate two megawatts is also in the works.

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TAGS:Japan sea turbine NEDO IHI ocean currents renwable energy electricty from sea 
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