World’s first typhoon turbine could power all of Japan for 50 years

September 28, 2016 by  
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An engineer in Japan is looking for a silver lining in the destructive typhoons that regularly drench the island nation. Atsushi Shimizu has invented the world’s first typhoon wind turbine , an egg beater-like contraption designed to harness the immense energy of storms as a unique renewable energy source . Shimizu believes that the energy from just one typhoon could power Japan for half a century. The amount of kinetic energy generated by a typhoon is enormous. The Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory estimates that a mature typhoon produces a level of energy “equivalent to about half the world-wide electrical generating capacity.” The challenging task, for Shimizu and other storm chasers interested in boosting Japan’s green energy, is harnessing that energy efficiently. Related: Typhoon Lionrock drenches Japan, leaving at least 10 dead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e630zg3QEAw To that end, Shimizu devised Challenergy , a vertical-axis Magnus wind power generator robust enough to withstand the high winds of a typhoon and wrangle the energy from a massive storm in order to generate electricity. The technology has already received a fair amount of press coverage in Japan, where many people are eager to find ways to produce sustainable energy and find a way to benefit from the storms that cause immense damage with high winds and tidal waves. Via CNN Images via Challenergy

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World’s first typhoon turbine could power all of Japan for 50 years

Beautiful prefab houseboats let you live on the water with a minimal energy footprint

September 28, 2016 by  
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Though Bluefield Houseboats is based in Ireland, the design/build firm delivers worldwide and handles all aspects of the design process, from initial consultation to the final handover. All houseboats are manufactured in a factory before they’re shipped out for on-site assembly. Since the modular houseboats are custom-built with a free spanning structural system, homebuyers can design their own open-plan layout with a variety of spaces from 500 square feet up to 2,000 square feet across one or two stories. The firm promises a high-quality material palette, each certified to BBA, British Standard, Eurocode, or equivalent standards for a minimum 50-year design life. Related: Floating solar-powered Waternest eco-home is nearly 100% recyclable “We aim to offer the same standard of living on the water as on land,” say the designers. “At Bluefield Houseboats our mission is to create high quality, useable space on the water which is accessible to all and maximizes the use of modern technology to explore sites which have previously been inaccessible.” The bespoke houseboats abide by the classifications for both a land-based building and a water-based vessel. To minimize energy usage, the homes incorporate passive design principles to take advantage of natural heating, cooling, and ventilation . A SMART home automation system gives the owner control over energy usage, from appliances to light switches, using a smartphone or tablet. + Bluefield Houseboats Images via Bluefield Houseboats

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Beautiful prefab houseboats let you live on the water with a minimal energy footprint

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