PowerX unveiled the detailed design of the first-ever Battery Tanker at the ‘Bariship’ International Maritime Exhibition held in Imabari City, Japan. The inaugural ship “X” aims for completion by 2025, with domestic and international field testing planned to commence in 2026.

Furthermore, a new company called ‘Ocean Power Grid Inc.’ will be established in the third quarter of 2023 to advance the maritime power transmission business utilizing Battery Tankers. This company will be responsible for owning, selling, and operating the battery tankers both in Japan and abroad.

The first Battery Tanker “X”, an electric propulsion vessel, boasts a length of 140 meters and will be equipped with 96 containerized marine batteries, providing a total capacity of 241MWh.

The onboard battery system is based on PowerX proprietary module design, featuring safe and reliable lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells that ensure a lifespan over 6,000 cycles.

Additionally, the battery system is highly scalable, allowing for the installation of additional batteries to create larger electric transport vessels, such as Power Ark 1000 or even larger sizes to meet specific mission requirements. The system includes dedicated gas emission control and fire suppression mechanisms to ensure safety.

Real-time monitoring of the battery system, charging controllers and power conversion systems further enhances safety measures.

All batteries will be manufactured in-house in Okayama Prefecture and are scheduled to obtain international ship classification certifications and applicable standards such as DNV and Class NK, undergoing rigorous testing to meet the strictest conditions. Delivery of the batteries is scheduled to commence by mid-2024.

With its onboard battery systems, Battery Tankers can be leveraged to store and transport surplus electricity generated from renewable sources.

Decommissioned or idle thermal power plants located near ports can be retrofitted into charge/discharge points for the Battery Tankers, where the power is transmitted to users via grid connections on the land, enabling further effective use of renewable energy.

Battery Tankers will establish the new power transmission networks across the sea, promoting the storage, supply, and utilization of renewable energy.

As the energy density of batteries improves and their cost decreases, it is expected that longer-distance maritime transmission from offshore wind power plants to the land will become feasible.