Relate to the idea of “On site life cycles”, I’d like to introduce unique new electric power generator, named “Hot Spring Electric Generator”. This new electric generator was awarded the top prize of Japanese business competition in 2013. Japanese government has decided to financially support this new electric power plant development. Primitively, Japan is one of the most famous volcanic countries and has tons of hot springs all over the country. Its geothermal resources have been attracting attention as a new natural power source. The advantage of the geothermal power generation is its eco-friendly and its stability. Unlike solar and wind power generator, geothermal power generation can produce electricity without being influenced by the weather and time. In response to the significant accident of Fukushima nuclear power plant, electric companies and Japanese government have been paying a lot of attention to huge potential of the geothermal power generation which have both eco-friendliness and stableness. But the percentage of geothermal power energy is only 0.3% of total power supply in Japan. This is because 80% of geothermal suitable areas are located in the national park. In these areas development and build any equipment are strictly regulated in order to protect natural environment and natural landscape. Furthermore, objection from local hot spa union also prevents the development of geothermal power plant. Geothermal pumps out tons of hot water from underground and utilize its water vapor, and it assumes that these pumping out hot water cause an adverse effect on nearby hot springs. “Hot Spring Power Generator” has potential to settle these big two problems. This new power generation utilizes hot spring water and steam pressure to generate electric. Unlike the traditional geothermal power plant, this new power generator doesn’t require a large amount of installation cost and size is quite small since it utilizes existing hot spring well without drilling new well. Initial cost of this small new generator is only USD400K and fulfills 10 household electricity needs. Eventually, it is expected that only one generator fulfills over one hundred households electricity needs. Furthermore, the hot water that was used to generate electricity can be utilized directly as hot spring water and its small size doesn’t affect natural landscape. I think this is the wonderful invention in terms of effective use of local natural resources and its eco-friendly system. Also, it would be desirable to generate electricity in a way that is appropriate to the climate and the natural environment of each area.
Below figures are picture and basic structure of “Hot Spring Electric Generator”