Natural disasters can be destructive and dealing with them can be a multinational effort. While prevention strategies for natural disasters can be limited, a Japanese energy start up Challenergy is looking for ways to turn the powerful natural forces into energy. With their Magnus VAWT, the company plans to create energy from typhoons hitting Japan.
Outlined in a report by TechRadar, Magnus VAWT (vertical axis wind turbine) will take advantage of the high velocity winds of typhoons to produce energy. Combining 3 vertically placed “propellers” all on a rotating platform, the Magnus VAWT will generate power as the system rotates with the winds. These turbines take advantage of the “Magnus effect,” or the curving of air currents around spinning objects. The system has already been tested to withstand winds up to 140mph/225kph.
Unlike the traditional wind turbines standing tall in the horizon, the Magnus VAWT will be relatively compact. Although not as efficient, this is likely due to safety. Propellers of large standing wind turbines become a hazard in typhoon conditions as they could be ripped off the main apparatus.
Challenergy looks to start testing their Magnus VAWT in 2020, with 50 placed on island communities. While each unit’s capacity is limited to 10 kW, a successful test could demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology and lead to further developments in harnessing energy from natural disasters.