Interesting Engineering reports that the battery taker that will allow for the sea transport of renewable energy has been called ship X and could begin service sometime in 2025.
PowerX officials believe that excess green energy produced by renewable sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines, ca be stored in batteries and transported across the waters to places that need that energy in order to decarbonize.
They stated that "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."
The ship X will reportedly have a length of 140 meters and will pack 241MWh worth-of battery capacity for energy storage. As far as range goes, as many as 300 kilometers can be traveled across waterways to deliver the energy, company officials claim.
To power the ship, PowerX uses its own system of lithium iron phosphate batteries, which they say have a lifespan of 6.000 cycles.
The battery system is modular, which means that more cells could be added afterwards for larger ships, if the demand will grow. Additionally, safety features will be implemented, such as fire extinguishers and battery-monitoring devices, to ensure that the system doesn't cause any catastrophic damage in case of failure.
As per company officials, battery tankers could also be used to link off-shore wind power farms to the grid, as cable infrastructure across the bottom of the sea can't be installed everywhere. In Japan, for example, earthquakes present a great danger to undersea infrastructure, which is why such ships could provide a connection between future wind farms on sea and cities located near the shore and farther away.
Photo source: PowerX