Pendulum design at heart of proposed Japan tidal power study

A professor from Japan has said that he wants to exploit the mechanical motion of a pendulum to generate electricity from tidal currents.

By K.Steiner-Dicks on Jun 30, 2014

Shinji Hiejima, an associate professor at the Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science of Okayama University Notably, is interested in exploiting pendulum-based energy to generate electricity from tidal currents.

Japan, according to a report published by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in 2010 states that the potential of tidal energy in Japan is equivalent to 20 nuclear power plants. Incidentally, the Seto Inland Sea—where Okayama University is located—has been assessed as being a site with especially high potential, according to a news report by

The professor for some time has been fascinated by the structure of bridges, which in part triggered his research on the interaction of strong winds with massive bridges, such as the Seto Bridge that connects Okayama with Kagawa in Shikoku.

In my early research I analysed why large bridges oscillate when hit by strong winds such as typhoons. Now, I am focusing on harnessing tidal energy as a stable source of electricity. I am looking for partners to develop my ideas on the Hydrokinetic Vortex Energy Utilization System or Hydro-VENUS—a large underwater pendulum based system," said Hiejima.