New Wind Turbine Harnesses the Power of Typhoons

iStock / iStock

Japanese engineer Atsushi Shimizu has created a wind turbine that can not only withstand a major typhoon, but can harness its power, Gizmodo reports. Shimizu, who is the founder of the green tech company Challenergy, claims the incredibly strong turbine could help solve Japan’s energy problems and even make the country a leader in clean energy production.

In the last year alone, Japan has been hit by six typhoons, which have damaged and destroyed traditional wind turbines around the country. Other natural disasters in recent years, meanwhile, have made nuclear power a less viable option for the country, prompting an energy shortage. Shimizu’s typhoon turbines, by contrast, would convert a typhoon’s winds into usable energy. Shimizu claims that if enough of his turbines were erected, a single large typhoon could power Japan for half a century.

Unlike traditional wind turbines, Shimizu’s typhoon turbines are constructed on an omnidirectional vertical axis to better withstand a typhoon’s powerful and erratic winds. Their blades can also be controlled so they don’t spin out of control in heavy winds. Shimizu recently installed his first test turbine near Okinawa, and is awaiting a storm to test it out.

Shimizu tells CNN the typhoon turbines could revolutionize energy production in Japan. "Japan actually has a lot more wind power than it does solar power, it's just not utilized,” he said. “Japan has the potential to be a super power of wind.”

[h/t Gizmodo]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at