Courtesy of NHK, Japan.

IHI Corporation started its history in 1853 as the Ishikawajima Shipyard. Its corporate roots remain a precursor to its technological future. One of its latest new projects include designing, building and operating new futuristic equipment that can generate electricity from ocean currents.

The technology utilizes the natural movement of water in the Kuroshio Current that runs alongside the eastern coast of Japan. 11-meter underwater propellers generates electricity at a test location in southern Japan. It is said that the power of the ocean is a more reliable source of renewable energy. IHI wants to commercialize the test generator by 2020.

The project is called “Ocean Energy Technology Research and Development—Research and Development of Next-Generation Ocean Energy Power Generation Technology.”

IHI announced, “In order to generate electricity using ocean currents, IHI is developing a floating underwater ocean current power generation system. This system consists of a power generation device with two turbines whose blades rotate in opposite directions to each other. It can be installed at great depths as it is operated by mooring it to the ocean floor and letting it float in the ocean current like a kite. The excellent characteristics of the system include its efficient power generation device using stable ocean currents, power-generation cost reductions enabled by developing large-scale power generation farms, and easy maintenance.”

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