Bio-Star innovative power generation system

Professor Yoshitaka Nakanishi and a team of researchers at the Graduate School of Science and Technology at Kumamoto University in Japan have been conducting a demonstration test of a river-stream power generation unit having a Bio-Star series system, a biomimetic technology developed by the team, at a site on the Shirakawa River in Kumamoto City since October 31, 2012, with the aim to develop an environmentally friendly bearing/seal system appropriate for river-stream and tidal power generation. The project is a recipient of the Grant for Industrial Technology Research (financial support for young researchers) for fiscal 2011 provided by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

The Bio-Star series system is a completely oil-free bearing system developed by mimicking the superior lubrication system of articular cartilages. The system features low environmental impact, low cost, and superior abrasion and friction resistance.

The demonstration test adopted a micro & cluster-type power generation method in which multiple compact and lightweight generation units are installed at a time. The method allows the units to be easily installed and removed from any streaming/tidal site without the need for infrastructure. It also benefits from less trouble occurring in the entire generation system when one unit malfunctions.

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