Replacing Undersea Cables with Direct Battery Transport, Japan’s PowerX to Begin Testing Battery Ship in 2026
2023-06-23 9:30

In an ambitious plan set to redefine the mechanisms of power transmission, Japan’s PowerX is charting a novel course. The company is on track to unveil its groundbreaking Battery Tanker X, a 140m long sea-bound power station, in 2026. This marvel of modern engineering is designed to transport a hefty 241 MWh of renewable energy, stored in battery form, across the ocean. Construction is expected to begin in 2025 with the maiden voyage slated for the following year.

The visionary concept by PowerX aims to transcend the traditional confines of renewable energy production. Given that solar and wind power generation require significant land resources, most large-scale renewable energy facilities find themselves relegated to remote areas. But what if we could take these energy hubs to the sea? PowerX is making this audacious dream a reality with the construction of a battery-laden electric ship.

PowerX’s innovative solution not only addresses the space constraint but also provides a practical alternative to undersea cables. Japan’s geographic challenges—surrounded by deep seas and resting on the Pacific’s earthquake belt—makes undersea cable maintenance a daunting task. PowerX’s Battery Tanker will mitigate this risk, transporting power smoothly and efficiently, all without the need for high-voltage connections and substations.

Behind this transformative venture are PowerX’s own battery factories, instrumental in the development of the Battery Tanker X. Each ship will be decked out with 96 state-of-the-art lithium iron phosphate battery container modules. While its initial range may be capped at 300 km due to seawater resistance, the possibilities are endless as PowerX continues to refine its technology.    

Safety is also top of mind for PowerX. Their choice of lithium iron phosphate batteries ensures reliable performance with over 6,000 cycles of use. These batteries are inherently stable and resistant to combustion, reducing the risk of fire. Moreover, the ships will be equipped with advanced gas emission control and fire extinguishing systems to ensure a safe and efficient operation.

While the cost of power transportation stands at an estimated US$0.17/kWh, the innovative business model of PowerX holds promise for cost reductions. The company anticipates an average shared cost of only US$0.07/kWh between renewable energy production, distribution, and retail companies.

PowerX’s Battery Tankers are not only set to change the way we transport power but also the way we store it. The company envisions repurposing idle thermal power plants near ports as charging and discharging stations for the battery containers. By harnessing the terrestrial grid, these ships could deliver surplus renewable energy right to users’ doors, unlocking a new era of renewable energy usage. As the world watches, PowerX is poised to chart a course into a more sustainable and resilient future.

 (Image Source: PowerX)

Tags:renewable energy