Gravity batteries

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SoulBiter
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Gravity batteries

Post by SoulBiter »

An interesting idea and one that is being implemented
When green power supply exceeds demand, one of several AI-controlled cranes lifts a pair of 30-tonne blocks upwards. When demand outstrips supply, back down they go, generating enough energy for thousands of homes.

With its technology tried and tested – and having received some $402m (£325m) worth of investment – Energy Vault is ready to start a commercial rollout. For that, the company has designed something a little more aesthetically pleasing than the angular Swiss prototype: a modular building dubbed "EVx" that stores thousands of weights on a trolley system.

"Think of it as a warehouse of energy elevators," says Robert Piconi, Energy Vault's CEO. "When clean electricity is coming in, the blocks – made of recycled material – go up, and when the grid needs supply, they go back down. An EVx with a storage capacity of 100MWh can power around 25,000 homes for a day."
It will be interesting to see if this will indeed work but I like the idea as way to balance power grids.
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Post by Fist and Faith »

That's pretty cool. A solution I never even imagined.

I wish someone would invent a heat battery. Store up the heat on those really hot days. And open it in the winter time and warm up the house. LOL
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Post by Avatar »

I mean, isn't that technically what solar is? :D

Wish we'd get a move on with some additional generating capacity of any type. We're in the throes of load shedding again here, rotational power cuts because our ageing and poorly maintained generation systems can't handle the demand.

Pretty damn inconvenient.

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Last edited by Avatar on Tue May 24, 2022 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by wayfriend »

Wikipedia wrote:Pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH), or pumped hydroelectric energy storage (PHES), is a type of hydroelectric energy storage used by electric power systems for load balancing. The method stores energy in the form of gravitational potential energy of water, pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation. Low-cost surplus off-peak electric power is typically used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power.
The Bear Swamp Project, for one, has been using "gravity batteries" in the form of pumped water since the 70s.

A warehouse filled with giant hanging cinder blocks seems like a step backwards.
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Gravity batteries

Post by SoulBiter »

I wonder if this has gone any further. I did go back and re-read and they addressed WF's post in the article
A similar approach, "pumped hydro", accounts for more than 90% of the globe's current high capacity energy storage. Funnel water uphill using surplus power and then, when needed, channel it down through hydroelectric generators. It's a tried-and-tested system. But there are significant issues around scalability. Hydro projects are big and expensive with prohibitive capital costs, and they have exacting geographical requirements – vertiginous terrain and an abundance of water. If the world is to reach net-zero, it needs an energy storage system that can be situated almost anywhere, and at scale.
Seems it has moved forward
As a solution to the unpredictable nature of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, gravity batteries are being pitched as an ideal remedy. To further this cause, Swiss startup Energy Vault is now completing two such units, which are situated near Shanghai in China and Texas in the United States. The firm's only gravity-based storage system does not rely on land topography or geology and "thus can be built almost anywhere either co-located with solar or wind plants or simply connected to the grid to support dispatchability and grid stability," according to a statement by the firm.
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