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Japanese Scientist Invents ‘Typhoon Turbine’ to Harness Destructive Power of Storms

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This picture taken on October 20, 2016 shows engineer Atsushi Shimizu, founder and CEO of the Japanese venture company Challenergy, standing next to his bladeless wind turbine in Tokyo. The amount of electricity produced by wind nearly doubled in 2016 from a year earlier, according to a recent survey by the Japan Wind Power Association. But wind power's share of Japan's total energy mix is still less than one percent. / AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI / TO GO WITH Japan-energy-environment,FOCUS by Harumi Ozawa (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Japanese engineer Atsushi Shimizu, founder and CEO of the Challenergy, standing next to his bladeless wind turbine in Tokyo. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

 

While most would view a typhoon as dangerous, Atsushi Shimizu views them as a solution to the world’s energy needs. The Japanese engineer invented a bladeless wind turbine that he says can harness the raw power of mother nature’s fury, Phys.org reports.

Shimizu is the CEO and founder of Challenergy, which produces the wind turbine. He’s hoping the device will be the answer to Japan’s resource problems after many nuclear power plants were shuttered in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima incident.

With its three cylinders and central rod, the egg-beater-like device harnesses electricity from winds blowing in any direction. The turbine capitalizes on a phenomenon known as the Magnus Effect—a force that curves air around a spinning object, like a football.

Renewable energy has seen a spike in public interest among the Japanese, who are understandably uneasy about returning to nuclear power after their country suffered from the worst meltdown since Chernobyl.  The amount of electricity produced in Japan by wind energy doubled last year, but that’s still only one percent of the nation’s total energy output.

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