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TOKYO, August 20. /TASS/. Japanese scientists have successfully tested a device that uses ocean currents to generate electricity, the NHK TV channel reported on Sunday.
The five-day test took place off the coast of Japan’s southeastern Kuchinoshima Island in the Kagoshima Prefecture, and involved the north-flowing ocean current named Kuroshio.
The prototype was designed jointly by the IHI Corporation company and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.
The idea behind the ocean-driven machinery is to submerge propellers in the sea currents, which rotate them to generate power. The generated power is carried through a cable on the sea bed to a power receiving facility on the shore.
During the test, the turbines were plunged to depths ranging between 20 and 50 meters. The device demonstrated a maximum power generation capacity of 30 kilowatts during the test run, although designers say it may have a capacity of up to 100 kilowatts.
According to the developers, it was the world’s first successful test of such a device.
According to IHI Corporation, this source of sustainable energy may prove to be even more reliable than solar or wind power, due to its low dependence on climate conditions.
Japanese specialists aim to turn their prototype into an actual market product by 2020.