【Press Release】 On the Demonstration Unit in Batanes and the Aftermath of Typhoon Kiko
November 02, 2021
We would like to express our deepest sympathies to those affected by Typhoon “Kiko”. We pray for the earliest possible recovery of the affected areas.
Challenergy Inc. announces that a part of its demonstration unit in Batanes, Philippines, was damaged on September 11 by Typhoon Kiko (internationally recognized as Typhoon “Chanthu”), and its operation has been temporarily suspended for safety reasons. Typhoon Kiko was a Category 5* typhoon and was the second strongest typhoon to hit Batanes in recent history. The typhoon caused severe damages to critical infrastructures such as water, electricity, and telecommunications, and has also caused damages to the livelihood of the residents.
* A classification of tropical storms’ intensity based on the maximum sustained wind (1-minute mean). Category 5 is the strongest with maximum sustained winds greater than 249 km/h.
1. On the safety of our employees working on the project
There were no human casualties among our employees working on the demonstration unit. However, due to difficult living conditions caused by the suspension of water, electricity, and telecommunication supplies, and concerns about the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the area, we had to temporarily leave the site to prioritize and ensure the safety of our employees.
2. On the demonstration unit
2.1 Weather conditions at the time of typhoon
Typhoon “Kiko”, which entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility on September 7, 2021, made its closest approach to Batanes on September 11 and became the second strongest typhoon to hit the area since 1987. According to the installed wind anemometer at the site, the maximum wind gust was 84.3 m/s, and the maximum wind speed for 10-minute mean was 57.6 m/s.
2.2 Power generation status during the typhoon
The wind turbine started operating on the night of September 10, the day before the typhoon struck Batanes, and continued to operate normally until the early morning of September 11. It achieved the maximum power generation capacity of 11 kW (net power), even under strong wind conditions. At 6:00 AM local time, the wind turbine expectedly halted its operations as it reached its designed maximum allowable rotation speed. The eye of the typhoon passed between 8:12 AM and 9:04 AM, and when the typhoon regained its strength at 9:08 AM, it became difficult to obtain wind speed data due to the poor connection of the anemometer.
2.3 Cause of damage of the demonstration unit
The demonstration unit experienced wind speeds that exceeded its designed maximum allowable speed, but there were no major structural problems with the tower or support arms. On the other hand, the cylinder and the rectifying plate of one of the two wings were partially damaged, and it is assumed that the damage was due to a collision with flying debris. There were also no injuries or casualties due to the damage of the unit. The operation of the wind turbine has been temporarily suspended for safety reasons.
Depending on the extent of the damage, we are considering several measures, such as replacing or repairing the parts of the unit. As the Magnus Vertical Axis Wind Turbine is designed to generate power even during typhoons, we will take advantage of this experience to implement countermeasures and make improvements to achieve stable operation in typhoon-prone areas. We will also continue to contribute to the rapid restoration of the Province of Batanes.
■ About Challenergy Inc.
“Innovating wind power generation to supply safe and reliable energy to all mankind.”
In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, the company focused on Japan’s energy problems and pursued the development of the Magnus VAWT that is resistant to changes in wind speed and direction to promote the utilization of wind energy. In 2018, it started its first demonstration tests in Ishigaki City and aims to undergo mass production by 2022.