moving away from fossil fuel-based power generation—requires not only wind, solar and water power generation assets, but energy storage solutions too. That usually means battery backup power, but not all the electricity storage has to be batteries .gravity can also help.
In 2019, Energy Vault introduced a gravity-based solution for energy storage.
The technology consists of a combination of six heavy solid blocks and a tall tower. When there is extra force in the grid, a mechanical crane uses it to lift these blocks to a height. These blocks are suspended there until they need electricity again at which time they are lowered and, by their own weight, drive the cables that run the turbines, thus generating electricity.
The company has ensured the sustainability and compatibility of this technology with the environment because the blocks are made of wasted soils and made of a special polymer.
“The world is at a critical juncture in moving towards greater acceptance of renewable energy sources,” said Robert Piconi, CEO of Energy Vault .Energy Vault is accelerating this development as we now support the global deployment and use of this technology in the marketplace to help energy providers and industrial customers compensate for decarbonization cost-effectively. .
There are a few companies with pilot gravity battery projects:
In Scotland, Gravitricity is working on a prototype 250kW system using 50-ton blocks, but it plans to go much bigger, raising and lowering 5,000-ton weights in abandoned mine shafts.
In Russia’s Skolkovo Technopark, Energozapas – backed by one billion roubles ($13bn) – has built a prototype Lifted Weight Storage (LWS) system, basically a set of lifts carrying containers of compressed earth up and down.
The system is 80m tall, and has a capacity of 2.5MWh. If it catches on, the company hopes to build a massive system by 2025, which will be 300m tall, hold 1GWh of energy and deliver it at a rate of 1GW.
The most striking gravity battery is Energy Vault’s 110m-high system of cranes in the Swiss city of Ticino. It lifts and stacks 35-ton blocks, to store a total of 35MWh of energy.
in 2020, Canadian architect WZMH actually proposed data centers could invest in their own lift system and concrete blocks, specifically to recover energy wasted when data center generators are tested.
Data center generators are for backup at data centers, as well as at other facilities like hospitals, but they are fired up every month to test them. WZMH says this produces energy which normally goes to waste. With the help of Toronto’s Ryerson University, WZMH designed a system to use that energy to raise concrete blocks in an elevator.
The idea is to raise the concrete block during the generator test, then when the block falls, use that energy to charge batteries, which can provide green energy to surrounding buildings.
BHP (British-Australian Mining Company) also endorsed the idea on Wednesday (December 15th) and signed a memorandum of understanding with Energy Vault.
Partnerships with corporations are generally good for start-up stocks.
source : barrons , DCD , Enery Vault ,
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