Introducuction to Magnus


What’s Spiral Magnus?

Spiral Magnus is the world’s first wind turbine system that rotates with cylinders which have  spiral-shaped fins coiled around instead of common propeller-type blades. When the spiral cylinders catch the wind, rotating force is generated due to the aerodynamic properties caused by Magnus Effect. With this principle applied, Spiral Magnus is a product with high power generation capability and safety.





【Propeller Type】
A common propeller type wind turbine catches wind by the propeller-shaped blades, and rotate the rotor (center part).

【Spiral Magnus】
Each of the five blades (cylinders) of Spiral Magnus Wind Turbine spins driven by the built-in motor and wind blowing through the cylinders rotates the rotor (center part).   


Propellers pick up the wind and generate aerodynamic lift (lifting force / rotating force)



This system uses a mechanism to generate more lift (lifting force / rotating force) from the wind power captured by the cylinders by effectively utilizing the aerodynamic properties of Magnus Effect.


Each cylinder alone can produce small power, but the five cylinders working together can generate enough power to rotate the wind turbine that has a heavy generator in it. The aerodynamic lift force works in the same way on a propeller-type wind turbine and an airplane although the force is created differently.





The first application was a power ship!

1852  A German scientist Heinrich Gustav Magnus discovered the phenomenon of the Magnus Effect.

1926  A German-born aviation engineer Anton Flettner built a rotor-ship harnessing the power of Magnus Effect to make the ship move, and made a successful voyage across the Atlantic.

1983  The Barrel-blade windmill experiment in U.S.


Since then, many countries have tried to develop the cylinder-blade windmill, but have not been successful to put into practical use. There was a problem to overcome that the smooth surface of the cylinders required top speed spinning of the cylinders, which consumed more power than the wind turbine could generate.



We tried to solve this problem by coiling the spiral fins around the cylinders, and tested at Akita Prefectural University.

Result was that lifting forces gained from the spiral cylinders was several times larger than those from non-spiral cylinders.

(← data per one cylinder)


That is because the spiral fins capture more of wind stream, and effectively harness the wind as the lifting force. Based on this finding, there were good possibilities that we might be able to develop an efficient wind turbine that is safe and stable with low rotational speed, and yet capable of generating high power. From this point, we set out our long, long process of trial and error and evolution.

Application of the Magnus Effect is a relatively new area which still leaves plenty of room for analysis to be made. In parallel with commercializing product, MECARO will continue to work on the analysis through the joint research with Tokyo University and Kogakuin University in our pursuit of product innovation. How can we further improve efficiency? What shape shall be ultimately perfect? These are the questions we are seeking answer for. We would like you to keep your eye on the progress of this technology.