Japanese start-up PowerX Manufacturing has revealed further design details for its concept of developing battery tankers that would transport renewable energy from high-potential areas to regions with high demand. The vessels would comprise the backbone of a power transmission network. It is hoped that the first Battery Tanker X will be made operational by 2026. The 459-foot vessel will contain 96 containerised marine batteries with a total capacity of 241 MWh. The onboard battery system employs lithium iron phosphate battery cells and is scalable with additional batteries to form larger electric transport vessels.
The batteries are expected to commence delivery in mid-2024 following international ship classification certifications. A new firm, Ocean Power Grid, will be created during Q3 2023 to advance the maritime power transmission business using the battery tanker concept. It will be responsible for owning, selling and operating the battery tankers in Japan and elsewhere. Domestic and international field testing is planned to commence in 2026.
The battery tanker would be available to transport and store power generated by offshore renewable power sites and transfer it between onshore locations. Power would be transmitted to users via grid connections on land after being offloaded from retrofit thermal power plants made into charge/discharge points for the tanker.
As the energy density of batteries improves and costs decrease, longer-distance maritime transmission from offshore wind power sites to land is expected to become feasible. The introduction of battery tankers could help establish new power transmission networks across the sea, promoting the storage, supply and utilisation of renewable energy, and overcoming various technical and cost limitations. In addition, agreements with Kyushu Electric Power Co. and the City of Yokohama have helped initiate exploration of how the battery and transport system can be used to support local companies in the port of Yokohama and to remedy the limitations of capacity in grid systems that connect different regions.
Tags: battery, power, tanker, transport, energy, Japan, PowerX, Imbari, NYK, wind farm,