A New “Spin” on Wind Power

Spinning With a Breeze, This Wind Turbine is Getting Noticed Worldwide

“Global Energy” in Iwafune City, Tochigi Prefecture, started out as a subcontracting factory that produced things such as car bumpers.  As the orders they received were dropping sharply, company president Suzuki developed a unique wind turbine blade.
It’s a revolutionary turbine that spins with very little wind.  Furthermore, president Suzuki is striving to design a turbine that will spin with even less wind.

A power generation related company in Korea has recognized his technical accomplishment and is already operating a wind power generation facility using Global Energy’s turbines.

Here’s the original Japanese synopsis:

少ない風で回る、世界が認めた画期的な風車

栃木県・岩舟町にある「グローバルエナジー」は、車のバンパーなどを製作する下請け工場だった。受注の激減で、鈴木社長は独自の羽の形をした風車を開発。 少ない風で回るという画期的な風車だ。そして、さらに鈴木社長は、もっと少ない風でも回る風車の開発に挑戦。その技術力に韓国の電力関連会社が目をつけ、 すでに「グローバルエナジー」の風車を使った風力発電設備が稼働しているという。

Check out the video:

Have you ever looked at all those huge wind power turbines popping up across the landscape and wondered, “I wonder if there are other ways to design those?”.  Well, if you’re like me, then you’ve never given them a second thought! But, this man from Tochigi Prefecture has given them plenty.

Not only do these things look cool, but the experiment he does here speaks for itself.  He points a couple of electric fans toward a regular wind turbine first, and then to his cylindrical ones.  While the regular turbine stops spinning as soon as the wind stops, his cylindrical design spins long after he turns off the fans.  If that’s not enough, the largest version of the turbines, which are 7m in length, will spin and generate power with just 1 meter/hour of wind blowing.  Wow!

Now, this is not just an experimental product.  Mr. Suzuki’s company, Global Energy, has licensed their turbine to a venture capital company in Korea for $2.5 million.

I have to say though, the thing that impresses me the most about Mr. Suzuki is his attitude toward the work that he’s put into developing this new turbine.  The narrator points out the 4,000 prototypes that are sitting in his scrap yard, and this is what he has to say:

“Not a single thing in this world is wasted. Most people say that when things don’t go well, it’s called a failure. But I believe that when things don’t go well, it’s a discovery. If you quit on your idea halfway, then that’s the failure.”

Here, Here!  Well said, sir.  I believe that attitude really sums up the spirit of not only entrepreneurship and innovation, but of any type of progress.

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