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NTN Completes Demonstration Test of the “NTN Micro Hydro Turbine”September 7, 2016Press Release

NTN Corporation (hereafter, NTN) has been developing compact hydroelectric generators (hereafter, NTN Micro Hydro Turbine) capable of generating 1 kW of power and that can be installed by simply placing them on wall surfaces of existing irrigation channels.

With the cooperation of the local government and other community groups in “Shin-Asaka Sosui” in Sukagawa City, Fukushima Prefecture, NTN conducted tests of the NTN Micro Hydro Turbines, including their generation performance, impact on irrigation channels and maintenance characteristics, over a three-month period from June to August this year, and has recently completed those demonstration tests. Asaka Sosui is one of the three largest canals in Japan, and consists of channels feeding water from Lake Inawashiro through the Ou Mountains. Approval for the demonstration test was obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries based on the River Law, with subsequently permission was granted by the Asaka Sosui Land Improvement District. (Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture) After registration by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, testing then began with the cooperation of farmers and others in Sukagawa City.

Ordinary compact hydroelectric generators operate using the difference in water levels by damming water channels, but extensive construction costs required to develop the water head have increasingly become an issue. The NTN Micro Hydro Turbine can generate power using the natural flow of water, and can be installed on the wall surfaces of existing irrigation channels using simple construction methods.

The NTN Micro Hydro Turbine uses a proprietary blade shape and NTN's low-torque bearings to convert the energy available in flowing water to electrical power at a high level of efficiency. We could get results from the demonstration test to generate 1 kW of power when using a 90 cm diameter blade in a channel with a flow rate of 2 m/s. There is only minimal interference in water flow even when numerous NTN Micro Hydro Turbines are installed in series within the same water channel, generating power corresponding to the number of units installed. For this demonstration test, ten NTN Micro Hydro Turbines were installed in a water channel 100 m long.

NTN has completed testing the NTN Micro Hydro Turbine with this demonstration test, and is making preparations to commercialize the product in order to commence sales from December this year. By converting natural energy available in agricultural irrigation channels and other similar sources, the NTN Micro Hydro Turbine is considered a product that will contribute to economic and industrial development in local communities.

Sales of Hybrid Street Lights that utilize wind and solar light began in July this year, and NTN will continue developing products that utilize natural energy into the future to help achieve a low carbon society.

The scene of an on-site tour accompanied by completion of demonstration test

The scene of an on-site tour accompanied by completion of demonstration test

The NTN Micro Hydro Turbines installed in series

The NTN Micro Hydro Turbines installed in series


NTN Micro Hydro Turbine

Structure and example layout
Structure and example layout


  • Installed easily on irrigation channel walls (no major construction work required)
  • Multiple units can be installed in series in the same channel, to generate power without interfering with adjacent units
  • Unique proprietary blade shape to harness energy available in flowing water without loss, and low-torque bearings for high-efficiency power generation


Type Propeller hydro turbine for small water flow
Generator Permanent magnet synchronous generator
Blade Diameter 60 cm, 90 cm, 120 cm
Output 1 kW (Blade diameter 90 cm model, flow rate 2 m/s)
Recommended condition Width: more than 100 cm
Water depth: more than 100 cm

* Can be installed in existing agricultural or industrial irrigation channels.

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