Journal of the Japan Institute of Energy
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ONLINE ISSN: 1882-6121
PRINT ISSN: 0916-8753

Journal of the Japan Institute of Energy Vol. 92 (2013), No. 6

  • A Study of Kuroshio Current as a Source of Hydroelectric Power Generation

    pp. 503-508

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    DOI:10.3775/jie.92.503

    The paper explores the potential of Kuroshio Current as a natural source of energy for hydroelectlic power generation in areas where the Current flows through much of the time near Japan Islands. It has found a distinct difference in the flow speed between in and out of the Current and its inside velocity justifies further study of probable hydro-electric power generation utilizing the kinetic energy of the Current. The Current, however, changes always its course of flow widely making it impossible to single out a location where it flows through all the time and justify power generation in such area. Another problem is the ever fluctuating power output which grows or declines according to the third power of its local speed of flow. These conditions render it necessary to select a number of separate areas where such power plants will be installed and generate each varying level of power output so that the total aggregate of irregular production will relatively stabilize. Then, the pattern of flow was examined over the last thirteen years and three areas were chosen where the Current flowed most of the time. It shows a combination of selected areas where such power plants would be installed and estimates the size of power that can be gained with a certain plant. It also argues the need for extensive use of pump-up hydroelctric plants to save excess of energy that will be generated time and again due to faster flow of the Current and, on the contrary, to fill shortage of power arising from slack Current and/or booming power consumption. It concludes, in this fashion, that the Current is likely to prove a huge source of power supply.

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