If offshore wind farms are much more efficient than those on land, why do we keep putting them in the “wrong” places? One of the obstacles to installing offshore wind turbines is transport the energy by cables to the coast. But what if we could develop wind power almost anywhere on the planet, regardless of its location? The Power ARK vessels from a Japanese startup could play a key role in ending this challenge.
Energy, from the mills to your house by boat
PowerX is developing a vessel designed to transport the energy generated by wind farms located in the sea to the coast. The 100-meter-long boat will run on electricity and will be able to travel a 300 km distance. However, it will also have a backup biodiesel engine that, if necessary, will allow the initial autonomy to be extended.
Unlike other vessels that have been designed to transport crude oil, gas or coal, the Power ARK will feature 100 batteries capable of offering a capacity of 220 mWh of energy generated by offshore mills. This, according to PowerX, will be enough to cover the daily energy needs of 22,000 Japanese households with a single trip.
The company says in a Press release that transferring energy from offshore wind farms to land using submarine cables is complex, cost and causes significant environmental impact. However, with their solution they plan to address this problem and offer new opportunities to harness wind energy almost regardless of location, although they have been inspired by Japan and its deep coastal waters.
The project, which also seeks to manufacture batteries for its own ships and for electric cars, is still taking its first steps, but it has already caught the attention of some investors who promise to support it. For now, PowerX has just signed an agreement with the company Japan’s largest shipbuilding company, Imabari, to build the first prototype of the vessel, which is scheduled for completion in 2025.
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