A 100MWh storage system which utilises the force of gravity is nearing its debut in China, this week. Based near Shanghai and developed by Energy Vault, a Swiss-based energy tech company, this is the first of many which is reportedly in the pipeline.
The system is built next to a windfarm and national grid interconnection site. Energy Vault claims the technology is the same as the gravity-based approached used in large-scale pumped hydro-storage, which utilises the natural falling motion caused by gravity on the water to generate power. However, this new site has no need for water, causing the costs to be much lower.
Instead, large bricks are lifted upwards by crane to store kinetic energy, this is then discharged and collected as an energy source to be used to power homes and businesses.
The initial results at labs in Switzerland showed a 75% maximum efficiency. However, Energy Vault now claim that it expects to reach over 80% with the new systems in place.
This new development now puts into perspective the diverse ways of innovating in the industry. Energy Vault claim this new gravity system is “a leader in energy storage efficiency versus all other forms of mechanical, thermodynamic processes, compressed air or flow battery systems.”
This first step is one of many for the company, whose CEO commented on the development, stating this is “just beginning – given recent local announcements of multi-GW hours of gravity energy storage buildouts.”
This comes alongside Energy Vaults recent announcement to build a 2GWh gravity energy storage system that will assist one of China’s zero carbon industrial parks.
On top of this, the company have also announced their plans for another 100MWh facility in the province of Hebei, China, which will serve data centres in the region.
Gravity energy storage is a clear reflection of the innovative industry leaders within renewable energy. Researchers and scientists are doing all they can to look at alternative methods of renewable energy sources, such as double-sided solar panels, perovskite powered energy storage and sugar powered batteries.
Working alongside industry leaders and experts, the Renewable Energy Institute (REI) is committed to bringing the most up to date renewable energy knowledge to its clients. The REI has recently attended the Innovation Zero Conference in order to fully immerse itself within the sector and ensure that it is ahead of the curve when it comes to new technologies and projects within the industry.
The gravity energy storage systems are testament to the fact that global net zero is fully achievable. If businesses can collaborate and innovate, finding new solutions to the world’s energy needs is just over the horizon. Discover what courses the REI has on offer and ensure you are part of the global changeover today.