Japan, a technology powerhouse, has effectively tested a device that harnesses the strength of ocean currents to create renewable energy. The system has been under development for over a decade and marks a major milestone in the hunt for renewable energy resources that may reduce Japan’s dependence on fossil fuels, which is highly high.
Currently, the gadget is being tested in the Pacific Ocean’s Kuroshio current, which is also known as the Black or Japan current. If you’re looking for a powerful ocean current, you’ll want to check this out.
The system’s creator, IHI Corp, set out to invent the machine that could harness the energy of ocean currents to provide a reliable supply of electric power. Ocean currents have a major advantage over wind and the sun in that they are very steady and predictable resources. On the other hand, onshore wind has a capacity factor of roughly 29% while solar has a capacity factor of 15%, according to Bloomberg.
IHI Corp.’s method utilizes a massive turbine like that of an aircraft. The Kairyu prototype is 330 tons in weight. During the course of three and a half years, the gadget established its ability to produce 100 kilowatts of electricity. The company’s goal is to boost energy output to 2 megawatts and use the system commercially until the late 2030s.
In addition to studying ocean currents, Japan is also looking into other renewable energy sources, such as tidal and wave power and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). The most important advancements have been achieved in the technology of tidal stream, which also has the lowest expenses. There is a big gap between ocean currents and tidal currents in terms of strength and cost-effectiveness.
In spite of its promising potential, it will be some time before the technology built by the Japanese business is put into use. There are a few other renewable sources of energy that Japan does not have access to, but ocean currents are worth a look. The most difficult thing is to develop a technology that is both effective and economical to utilize in real-world situations.