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Fuji Heavy Tests 2 MW Subaru-Branded Wind Power System

By Jack Rosebro

The Subaru 80/2.0

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the parent company of Subaru, announced that it has been testing its newly-developed two-megawatt wind generation system since the beginning of 2006. The prototype of the system, called Subaru 80/2.0, is at Hasaki, Kamisu City, Ibaraki Prefecture, facing the Pacific Ocean.

The three-bladed wind turbine has a controllable pitch and is 62 meters in height from the ground to the rotor hub. The rotor, which has a diameter of 80 meters, can generate electricity at a wind velocity as low as three meters per second—a 25% improvement over similar wind turbines. It was manufactured by Hitachi, a development partner.

The Subaru 80/2.0 is a downwind-type turbine with the rotor placed on the lee (non-windward) side of the tower. Stronger lightning-resistance specifications than the international standards were adopted to reduce troubles by lightning, which is common in coastal areas along the Japan Sea in winter.

The generator.

The wind turbine was designed to be broken down into smaller parts than conventional turbines, making the equipment easier to transport to an installation site. This could mean that the rotor blades are two-piece; installation of wind turbines is often constricted by the relative feasibility of transporting turbine blades to an intended site.

Last month, General Electric announced a partnership with the US Department of Energy to design a 5 to 7 MW offshore wind turbine (earlier post).



here is new kid on the block.


Looks like a well thought out unit to be placed in remote locations. Maybe more municipalities can own them, ASSUMING they have enough wind(which is very few places).
At 2MW, only need about 1,035 of them to match Hoover dam.

Adrian Akau

I stand corrected. Last year, I was under the impression that Japan was unable to develop its own wind turbines and was dependent on those imported from other countries. Now I am pleased to note that they do have a good wind generator and that the blade can be broken down for more convient shipping. I think that the installation of this generator is a sign that the Japanese do realize the important of wind power. Was it not the "divine wind" that saved Japan from the Chinese fleet many centuries ago during the time of Mongol Empire? Now we see that wind power will help Japan today transition toward a renewable energy economy. My regards and good wishes that windpower in Japan will grow and strengthen steadily from a small shoot to a great protecting tree.


I wonder what the seabird mortality will be with scores of these things sitting on the coastline.



You of course realize that 1035 of these will take up a fraction of the real estate that Hoover dam did (think Lake Mead or think the Three Gorges Dam if you like), the real estate they do use can still be used for other uses like farming, and it will cost much less.

Mike Weindl

I remember back in Germany 10-15 years ago, they had the same arguments, "windcraft kills birds" or "the frequency
created by the rotoring blades makes people sick" and
things like that. Windmills became a common sight in all
european countries and all that arguments against windcraft turned out as nonsense.


Seabird. WTF

How many species are going extinct because of carbon and nitrogen
pollution. Count them before bring that red herring to the table


If there is a small amount of bird kills, over time, evolution will solve the problem of revolution(of the blades)


Yeesh, that bird myth will be around forever. Here, read this, then feel at ease about the poor little dinosaurs:

Now, shall we not hear of this silliness again?

Jack Rosebro

Although avian mortality is a legitimate concern with any wind turbine installation, the wind energy industry has learned a thing or two in the last two decades. While I can't speak for the site of the Fuji installation, it's important to note that the first and best way to minimize the problem is to avoid siting a wind turbine along known migratory paths (as occured with the early Palm Springs, Tehachapi Pass, and Altamont wind farm installations in California, as well as Tarifa, Spain).

Generally, lone wind towers don't present much of a problem. Birds will generally fly around them, although they will fly into tall buildings. Go figure. Large-scale wind farms can be more confusing, especially to birds traveling in flocks. As a result, towers in wind farms are often spaced farther apart than they were in the past.

More viewpoints can be found at:

Hampden Wireless

I wonder how much these cost.

Rafael Seidl

The main problem with wind is that it is unreliable. Without some mechanism to buffer excess production, you end up having to install additional fossil fuel power generation capacity to be certain you can always meet instantaneous demand. It is this need for backup capacity that makes wind turbines so expensive.

The financial overhead is reduced if the buffer consists of an already amortized hydro dam, which may be hundreds of miles away. Other options include hydrogen production via electrolysis (and storage, transport etc.) or pumping compressed air into a suitably prepared abandoned underground cavity. Note that there are now also cars that can run on compressed air:


While wind's disadvantage is that it is intermittent, we can start solving that problem by using it for requirements that are amenable to that which is intermittent. We could start with PHEVs and EVs. There is also pumped storage of water and the other approaches that Rafael outlined.

And, furthermore, the farmers in Easter n Colorado are finally getting a break with all the wind power that's being installed on their land. Otherwise, I don't see how they could survive. They are victims of heat and drought. Here is a way to take global warming on directly.

Harvey D

Wind mills are evolving in size and shape. Recent vertical wind turbines, looking more like farm silos, can capture lower speed winds while resisting better to very high speed winds; are cheaper to install; are more visible to birds (if that is a requirement) and create less noise for nearby neighbours. A combination 'farm silo - wind mill' with the lower part being the silo and the higher part being the wind mill may not be a bad idea. Large water tanks, on top and lower levels could be used as energy storage reservoirs. The electric generator could be turned, as required, by wind or water energy to produce un-interrupted electric power.

Jack Rosebro

Wind doesn't blow much in some places – that's why it's important to site the turbine well. Nor does it blow all the time – that's why it's important to have more than one turbine in a wind farm, and more than one wind farm feeding a grid. And few tout wind as supplying more than 20% of a large grid's power. It's more of a supplement than a source.

Come to think of it, it's nice to have more than one power plant feeding a grid. Power plants can be intermittent and unreliable, of course, whether due to an aging grid or the nonsense that happened in, for example, California some time back.

What I would like to see is a wind turbine with a second and much smaller rotor connected to a second turbine. Wind turbines generally shut down when wind rises above around 40 miles per hour (60 mph for the large offshore rigs). It would be nice to get some energy from high winds. Admittedly, that would be a niche market for some unusual sites.

For a rebuttal to concerns about wind as an unreliable energy source, check out:

Keep in mind that the article is written by a wind energy assciation; your mileage may vary...


" . . unit to be placed in remote locations."

These units can't be too far from the grid; siting restricted to be within a cost-feasible distance of a grid connection.


"I wonder what the seabird mortality will be with scores of these things sitting on the coastline."
Who cares. More wind mills = less bird poop on my car when I got to the beach.


If you want to take your place in history next to Tesla and Edison, develop a way to store huge amounts of electric energy in a compact storage unit and do it efficiently.


You either find ways of storing the energy, or redesign the grid / appliances to use energy when it is available.
Phev's are an obvious application, water heaters, driers are another, once you get a way of signalling that "there is spare juice about".
I think this is the "smart grid". It makes a lot of sense if you have wind. Otherwise, you have to back it all up with a throttleable fossil source which greatly reduces the effectiveness of the whole thing.
This just brings us back to storage (big storage) not a Lion battery for a car.
But it is all good stuff.


I once spent the night under a large windmill at a camp/motel in Oklahoma, just west of Oklahoma City.

I'll never make that mistake again and I expect many more feel the same. I noticed last time I passed along I-40 that the windmill was no longer there.

I'm not convinced that the energy generated ever repays the cost of production and installation.

Bruk B

Well, that will come as disturbing news to all these folks. From Wikipedia:

The cost of wind-generated electric power is plummeting, and is much lower than the cost and externalities of fuel-generated electric power, and lower than the cost alone. [1] Since 2004, wind power has been the least expensive form of new power generation. [2] [3] Wind power is growing quickly, at about 37% [4], up from 25% growth in 2002. In the United States, as of 2003, wind power was the fastest growing form of electricity generation on a percentage basis.


I don't always believe everything I read. I assume they have considered ALL the costs? There is a school somewhere that did a cost study. (No longer on the web.)They saved a ton of electricity but never did recover all their costs before the windmill wore out.

Maybe someone has figured how to do it now. I'm always hopeful but ever a skeptic. As many of us realize, early on the only people who made money were the people who were selling stock.

Roger Pham

The intermittency of wind power can be solved by using low-cost piston engined powered natural gas generator. These generators sold retail at ~$750 USD for ~5kw continous power, and when counting installed cost, probably ~$200 USD/kw power. Larger units are probably even cheaper per kw installed cost. These can be turned on and off rapidly without shortening their lifespan, unlike large gas turbines which are already very expensive and suffers from internal stress upon switching on and off. Steam turbines must practically kept running all the time to prevent stress damage from shutting down and starting up. Piston IC engine can be designed to run on Atkinson cycle as in Prius hybrid engine, with thermal efficiency up to 45%. Of course, solar power can complement wind power, and often in mid summer day, there may be a lot of sun but no wind, and in winter days, a lot of wind but no sun.


Wind power is not an answer. The wind predictions are spotty at best, the power supplied is intermittent, and the towers ARE eyesores. If wind power were so great, how come there are massive gov't subsidies to make it work? Why does nobody state that even on the power grid, wind costs 7 to 10 cents per KWH while coal costs 2-3 cents per KWH? That means wind costs from 2 to 5 times what coal does, even with the subsidies. It ain't workin' folks. And it ain't gonna.


Dear Sir,

We are interested in your wind turbines, which is very suitable espacially as technical data 62 m as tower, 2MW for the turbine, these specifictions are suitable in the MIDDLE EAST region (with 3 m velocity).
We would like to cooperate with your company in the future to realise our scheme, awaitting your answer we remain yours.
All the best,

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