Gallery: Massive Energy-Generating Wind Tower Proposed for Japan


When considering wind power as an energy source, it’s best to think big. Japan-based ZENA Systems is working on developing a new type of wind energy generator that will dwarf anything before it. The 50 meter-tall hexagonal building essentially acts as a huge scoop that compresses wind from all directions and then runs the rushing air through a series of ground-based generators. The ambitious project is the first of its kind, and it includes a desalination plant, on-site energy storage, and a visitors center. Details are sketchy on the viability of the design, but if it works out this wind concept could someday reach high into the sky to power our grid.

The company explains the operation as a three-point compression technique that takes wind from any direction and compresses and accelerates it through a wind tunnel in the middle of the hexagonal tower. The air flows downward to a series of turbines, which convert the wind’s energy to electricity. The company claims that the system is not constrained by the Betz limit value theory, which states that the maximum theoretical harvestable energy from the wind is 59.3 percent.

To stir the industry up even more, the design calls for on-site energy storage, which ZENA explains on their website: “The E.A.S. is a new energy storage system used to stock the energy generated by the Wind Tower system. This system uses vanadium concentrated solution diluted with nano water and pure water.” They have picked a location in Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan for the massive project.

+ ZENA Systems


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  1. lmasarun May 25, 2011 at 4:18 am

    its so useful for upcoming generations.

  2. zamroni May 25, 2011 at 1:57 am

    that is great idea, consening wind to the center point at ground. i think that’s more efficient when combine with wind turbin zero friction.

  3. Jaume May 23, 2011 at 6:23 am

    That is not a new concept, I saw a very similar concept maybe 10 years ago on a old book at uni, maybe 10 years ago, I think they called it “cyclonic generator”, the idea was to generate a small cyclone inside a tower which has a mega thermal solar collector at the base of the tower, so hot air is fitted from the base (where the wind generator is located) and,same as this model, the wind going through the tower makes the air inside the tower to rotate generating a huge “vacuum effect” that makes the wind turbine to work. In my opinion that is a very clever concept, maybe not practical because of the complexity and the huge solar collector needed to generate enough hot air, but very inspiring.

  4. PaTrond May 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Oops, mod; posted in my last comment in wrong article(this), so I’m going on-topic this time:

    Last time I saw anything like this, it was a proposal for a thousand meter high glass tower. Any words on how big the power output of this is?

  5. PaTrond May 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin said just a few years ago that hydrogen is the future, not EVs. Why has my favorite car manufacturer now taken this decision?? Electric vehicles are inefficient in cold weather. Hydrogen is not, and it can be produced by algae.

  6. mohammad sadiq May 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    fantastic could be very much full for comming out of energy crises and cast effective shortfalls of energy

  7. bayouboy January 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Going to the source of this article offers very little information.

    Even though, I have several problems with this article. You cannot exceed the Betz limit. This is not possible as doing so is in violation of fluid mechanics as well as thermodynamics.

    Secondly, vanadium redox batteries suck. This type of battery just doesn’t work. It has a poor efficiency of around 65%. Worse yet is its energy density, which requires insane volumes of deionized water. 1MWh of storage is over 17,500 gallons. While very interesting, this tech has a long way to go to become viable. It may never be viable.

    Japan and the US are already using VRB’s and the results are dismal. The tech simply doesn’t work.

    Wind power offers no advantages over any other sources of power generation in the use of reverse osmosis for desalination. Nuke power does as waste reactor heat can be used to reduce the power costs of reverse osmosis.

  8. order21 January 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Project Date July 21, 2009

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