The Electric Oil Tanker collects energy from offshore wind farms

The Electric Oil Tanker collects energy from offshore wind farms

Daily hundreds of oil tankers sail to and from countries where oil is produced, such as the Gulf states. , to places that need oil, such as Holland. This is the only way we can get enough fuel in places where there is no oil in the ground. Oil tankers are an indispensable part of the energy infrastructure.

Japan’s PowerX got an idea from these tankers: Can’t we do the same with electricity? At the moment, we transmit almost all of the power through cables. Offshore wind farms, which are often far from the mainland, are also connected to the country’s electricity grid with large cables. But this is not always cost-effective: the longer the cable, the more power you lose. Moreover, mooring is quite expensive, especially if the sea is deep.

Wind farm refueling

PowerX thinks it’s easier to load a large ship with batteries. The energy of these batteries is in wind farms at sea, after which the ship sails again and the batteries can provide energy. Although there are losses here as well (charging and discharging the battery causes a loss of power), PowerX still thinks this is a good idea. Definitely for wind farms far from the sea.

Because even though most of the marine parks are still visible from the coast, it looks like this will change in the future. Winds are usually stronger offshore, which means the turbines can generate more power. To be sure, the huge new generations of turbines (such as the Haliade X) perform better in deep water. Laying cables of a few kilometers in length is a problem. Because of the above costs, but also because of the impact on the sea floor. Disrupting the marine environment to preserve the climate does not seem like a good idea.

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20,000 homes

PowerX has entered into an agreement with a Japanese ship owner to build its first ship. It should be 100 meters in length and sail by electricity. The biodiesel engine provides a backup in case the battery runs out. On board are 100 batteries that together carry 200 megawatt-hours of electricity – enough to power 20,000 (Japanese) homes for a day.

Is this the answer to getting more sustainable energy for people? Anyway coming offshore wind farms far away. There is also a good chance that electricity will soon be generated in areas where this is easiest (sunny Australia or the Sahara Desert, for example). This force can then be transferred by ship to places where a great deal of force is needed. All this is only possible if there are enough ships full of batteries that carry the current. PowerX is now taking a concrete step to make this future possible.

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