Japanese Researchers Begin Study Into Electricity Generation from Snow
Aomori, 8 Jan (ONA) --- Researchers in the city of Aomori have begun to study how to generate electricity from snow, with the aim of securing a renewable energy source to cover potential power shortages, the Japan Times reported.
The city of Aomori, which sees heavy snow every year, started a trial in a swimming pool at an abandoned elementary school in December to explore the feasibility of producing energy by utilizing the temperature difference between stored snow and the surrounding air.
In the joint project, local information technology startup Forte Co. and the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo are looking to power a turbine with energy produced when liquid cooled by stored snow is then vaporized by the heat of the surrounding air.
Electricity generation using stored snow has recently drawn attention as an environmentally friendly, low-cost and safe power source.
In Aomori, large volumes of snow are dumped into the sea and elsewhere after being collected by snowplows and trucks. Snow removal operations come at a hefty financial cost.
“Snow has been treated as a nuisance but we can put it to good use,” a city official said.