Powerx presents “first” battery tanker

Powerx presents "first" battery tanker
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Japanese company PowerX has unveiled the detailed design of the world’s first “Battery Tanker”, which is expected to be completed by 2025. The electric propulsion ship will be 140 meters long and equipped with 96 container ship batteries with a total capacity of 241 MWh. PowerX says the onboard battery system will be based on its proprietary module design, featuring safe and reliable lithium iron phosphate battery cells that offer a lifespan of over 6,000 cycles. The system includes gas emission control and fire extinguishing mechanisms to ensure safety.

PowerX has established a new company, Ocean Power Grid, to advance the marine power transmission business using battery tankers. The company will be responsible for owning, selling, and operating the battery tankers in Japan and abroad, and PowerX is actively seeking global business partners for the new technology. Battery tankers can store and transport excess electricity from renewable sources, and decommissioned thermal power plants close to ports can be retrofitted into charging and discharging points for the tankers.

Areas with high potential for renewable energy tend to be located far from regions of high electricity demand, making strengthening transmission infrastructure essential. The battery tanker presents an optimal solution for short-distance shore-to-shore marine power transmission, complementing existing inter-regional grid transmission lines. PowerX says the tankers will build new power transmission networks across the sea, promoting the storage, delivery, and use of renewable energy.

Battery tankers can also help to solve various challenges related to offshore wind energy, including reducing long downtimes due to malfunctions and repairs of submarine cables and associated high costs. Harnessing marine power transmission via battery tankers can make it feasible to install offshore wind farms in areas that were once a challenge, not only in Japan but also overseas. PowerX has a memorandum of understanding and partnership agreements with utility Kyushu Electric Power and Yokohama city to pursue the concept of maritime power transmission and carbon neutral ports.

All batteries for the project will be manufactured in-house by PowerX in Okayama Prefecture and designed to receive international marine classification certifications and applicable standards, such as DNV and Class NK. Rigorous testing will be conducted to meet stringent conditions, and delivery of the batteries is due to begin by mid-2024. Field tests at home and abroad are scheduled to begin in 2026. The system includes real-time monitoring of the battery system, charge controls, and power conversion systems to enhance safety measures.


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