While the world is slowly but surely transitioning to cleaner energy from renewable sources, not everywhere is its production fully feasible or efficient. Enter the Japanese startup PowerX, which aims to distribute green electricity across seas and oceans.
They intend to achieve this through the use of a fully electric tanker, equipped with a deck filled with batteries. This way, clean energy can reach parts of the world where its production would not be as straightforward due to geographical conditions.
Delivering clean energy instead of pizza
At the Bariship International Maritime Exhibition, the company unveiled the detailed design concept of their upcoming X tanker. It is a 140-meter-long fully electric vessel with a range of about 300 km on a single charge. Although currently intended for shorter trips, according to the company’s CEO Masahiro Ito, this will change in the future. With the increase in battery energy density and the reduction of their costs, the ship will transport more batteries over longer distances.
The deck of the electric tanker will be equipped with a total of 96 LFP batteries with a capacity of 2.5 MWh. This means the clean energy carrier will be able to accommodate up to 241 MWh of electricity from renewable sources. PowerX claims that the battery design is highly scalable, allowing for capacity expansion in the future. Safety measures and systems will be in place to continuously monitor the current capacity and status. The first prototype is expected to be completed by 2025, with test voyages commencing the following year.
The plans are already clear
The startup unveiled its ambitious plans last summer, with the main focus being the establishment of a battery storage factory and Hypercharger, a renewable energy-powered electric vehicle charger with a power output of up to 240 kW. As for batteries, the startup intends to manufacture home batteries for electricity storage, batteries for ships, as well as large-scale battery storage systems for entire networks.
The factory, named Power Base, is set to be located in Japan. Its production capacity is projected to reach 5 GWh per year, which translates to approximately 10,000 units of battery storage. Test production is scheduled to begin this year, with the very first deliveries of the startup’s products from this factory expected to commence early in 2024.