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Published On: Wed, Oct 12th, 2016

Most Promising StartUp in History: “Typhoon Challenergy Project” will provide power for decades (Japan)

Wind turbines that are grown even typhoons and generate electricity in the middle of the storm, could eliminate the nuclear and conventional power plants in Japan. Has the concept of the startups Challenergy a chance?

A single Typhoon contains so much energy that it is theoretically give enough for 50 years to power Japan. That the Japanese engineer Atsushi Shimizu has calculated, founder of the three-year-old start ups Challenergy.

Japanese engineer Atsushi Shimizu

The Japanese engineer Atsushi Shimizu with a prototype of his wind rotor: the system offers minimal attack surface a typhoon. Photo: Challenergy

As he wants to generate the energy he has demonstrated already. He developed a wind generator that has no wings, but long straight blades, which rotate on a vertical axis. Differently than conventional wind generators with two or three leaves these plants to are required not the wind. Rotating, where the flow is always coming.

Even the worst storms got no impact on structure

A number of companies and innovators have developed similar generators, about Blue Terra from Bremen. It is always small plants with less than 10 kilowatts.

Thus Shimizu will not settle. Although he does not reveal how much power will have its mills. But one thing is clear: he wants to as stable build it that typhoons that often sweep with wind speeds of more than 200 kilometers per hour on Japan across, can do any harm them. Even more: Turn the enormous power of the storm into electrical energy.

A ship is one of the role models

Shimizu takes advantage of the Magnus effect. A relief on the other arises is blown on a rotating circular body, on the one hand a vacuum. The so-called Flettner-Rotor provides this effect for that a ship is driven forward by the wind.

Magnus effect

The Magnus effect, depicted with a backspinning cylinder or ball in an airstream. The arrow represents the resulting lifting force. The curly flow lines represent a turbulent wake. The airflow has been deflected in the direction of spin. (

Two years ago, the Norwegian Terje presented a similar concept to charging with the Cargoschiff Vindskip. While the hull serves as a sail. Obliquely incident wind him a longer way gotta back side on the, which on the side facing the wind creates a vacuum. As a result, the ship is pulled forward.

A prototype of the “Typhoon Rotor” is already in operation

But back to Japan. At the Windmill of the engineer Shimizu, the rotor spinning offers little attack surface wind. This allows it to survive also typhoons and convert its energy into electricity.

The special construction paid the Japanese with a degree of efficiency by only 30 per cent, ten points less than that of conventional mills. Given the enormous forces of a typhoon that is but to get over. A small prototype Shimizu in Okinawa is already Japan’s southernmost Prefecture.


With giant wind turbines, the Japanese start up Challenergy wants to use the enormous power of typhoons to generate electricity. Photo: Challenergy

“I want to build our wind generator on the roof of the new National Stadium”, says Shimizu. It is built by 2020 in Tokyo for the Olympic Games. “Or on the Tokyo Tower”, one of the landmarks of the Japanese capital. The tower which 332.6 m is high, similar to the Paris Eiffel Tower. He wants to make his country, where there was the worst nuclear disaster with Fukushima, independent with his technique of nuclear energy.

In Japan there are Typhoons every year

The potential for the Challenergy Mills would be enormous. In this year alone, Japan already experienced six of this severe weather. In low wind conditions, the mills produce but no electricity or very little.

Wind Expo 2016 Tokyo Atsushi Shimizu

On the wind Expo 2016 Tokyo Atsushi Shimizu, Chief of the start-ups Challenergy, introduced specifically his idea of a turbine for typhoons. Photo: Challenergy

This leads to Shimizu problem: he would have to store the electricity that is produced within a few hours in huge amounts, months or years. A seemingly impossible task. All stores of this type currently installed all over the world could provide only for minutes power Japan. On the other hand, Japan as well as South Korea and China is one of the world’s largest battery manufacturers.

Shimizu is nevertheless convinced that wind energy is the future for his country. The possibilities for the generation of energy from wind are considerably greater than the extraction of energy from sunlight.


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