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Energy Harvesting Technology

Renewable energy, which can be used frequently without loss of capital, has attracted worldwide popularity. Developments in advanced energy generation technologies that use natural energy, such as solar , wind and geothermal, are ongoing in Japan, alongside technical developments in energy harvesting that transform low-energy heat and vibration from everyday life to electricity.The numerous projects that efficiently gather the limited energies around us are also a symbol of the ecological spirit of mottainai of which Japan is proud.

Created from the Unused Hot Springs Heat

As one of the world’s leading volcanic countries, Japan is the third largest geothermal-rich nation in the world after the United States and Indonesia. If you go to the hot springs, the scenery of rising steam conveys the blessings of nature.

The new system is known as the yukemuri hatsuden (steam power generation) system. In order to produce the full power from low heat at 120 ° C or below which is not ideal for conventional geothermal power generation, this system is the first in the world to include a hot water jet to transform the turbine, in addition to the commonly developed steam turbines. The turbine rotates at high speed by the process of collecting the hot water from the tip of the nozzle as a jet. The hot water turbine and the steam turbine together succeeded in supplying power to the generator at 3000 revolutions per minute. The production of one unit is at a capacity of 100 kilowatts, providing enough electricity to supply about 300 households.

The advantage of this scheme is the effective use of the hot spring supply that the hot spring inns already have at hand. In addition to ensuring reliable electricity without being influenced by the atmosphere, as is the case for solar and wind power, the compactness that only takes up the space of one vehicle is also very appealing.

Hydropower not needing a reduction in elevation

These natural energies are also dormant in trifling ecosystems. Tiny lakes, irrigation water and even the flow of rivers along the road are a source of energy of tremendous potential. The ultra-small hydro-power generation unit built by the major electronics manufacturer in Japan differs from the conventional hydro-electric power plants that use the potential energy of water falling from above, but is a modern type of generator device that can produce electricity only from a small flow of water. The best selling point is that there is no need for large-scale building work to build dams or driving channels, but it can only be achieved with basic construction.


The newly developed flow guide and impeller are responsible for the technical base that uses the flow of fresh water without waste for the production of electricity. The impeller has a design identical to the blade of the propeller plane which transforms the rapid velocity of water into a high-speed, waste-free rotation. This is immediately triggered by a small flow of water, and a flow of 3 meters per second produces a power supply of 2 kilowatts. It is intended not only to be used for self-consumption, but also to support a wide variety of uses, such as the selling of energy. 

Convert Vibration to Light

Visit the Enoshima Aquarium in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, where you can experience the illumination of LED lights from the vibration energy produced by a visitor on the floor. This system , called the “power generation floor,” generates 2 milliwatts of power per second from a person weighing 60 kg, requiring just 2 steps per second.

As far as LEDs are concerned, this mechanism allows the instantaneous illumination of 100-200 bulbs. This has been a representative example of eco-power generation, as fuel is not required, air is not soiled, and it essentially uses vibrations that have not served any role in the past. Mass manufacturing for department stores and offices, and also for general households, has started.

Made on the floor is a special piezoelectric structure that produces electricity as it is bent by outside friction. Since the power is small, it is capable of moving electrical equipment without batteries or wires such that LED lamps can be illuminated to identify hallways, bathrooms and rooms even if power loss happens during a tragedy. If the sensor is used in the lonely homes of the aged, it is also possible to automatically alert families living far away from their everyday lives and safety.

In addition , power generation cane and power generation shoes that are under production by applying this technology can help ensure the safety of those walking or running at night. The remote control switch, which produces power simply by pushing a button, will light up the lighting equipment by transmitting a radio signal, and is highly awaited as a modern system that can shorten the time spent on indoor wiring when constructing houses and buildings.

The numerous power generation systems built in Japan are likely to play a major role in changing people’s lifestyles.