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- Japan's PowerX has introduced a 'Battery Tanker' for transporting renewable energy.
- The pioneering ship, the 'X,' is due for completion by 2025, with trials set to begin in 2026.
- "X" is designed to transport renewable energy by sea, building an "ocean power grid".
Battery Tanker 'X': a detailed look
Measuring 140 meters in length, it is equipped with 96 containerized marine batteries, delivering a total capacity of 241MWh.
The vessel's battery system uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells to ensure over 6,000 cycles of life.
For safety measures, the system comes with dedicated gas emission control and fire suppression mechanisms. Real-time monitoring of the battery system, charging controllers, and power conversion systems are included to bolster safety measures further.
All batteries are manufactured in-house in Okayama Prefecture, set to meet international ship classification certifications and applicable standards such as DNV and Class NK.
Battery Tankers: filling the energy gap
Battery Tankers are the newest tool for storing and transporting surplus electricity from renewable sources. Decommissioned or idle thermal power plants near ports can be repurposed into charge/discharge points for the Battery Tankers.
The stored power can then be transmitted to users via grid connections on the land, optimizing the use of renewable energy.
The electric tanker is currently optimized for short-distance travel. However, as battery density increases and costs decrease, the company plans to increase the ship's distance capacity.
A future electrified by the sea
The advent of Battery Tankers could lead to offshore wind farms being set up in areas where undersea cable deployment was previously challenging.
For countries like Japan, susceptible to earthquakes and with deep-sea surroundings, the Battery Tankers could overcome hurdles such as undersea cable malfunctions and the high costs associated with ultra-high voltage connections and substations.