Startup Energy Vault proposes to store energy by raising and lowering giant bricks
The most popular way to store energy in the modern world is the use of lithium batteries. However, the new approach from Energy Vault makes it possible to solve the problem of storing energy not only cheaper, but also much more efficiently. The method of Swiss researchers is based on the use of kinetic energy. Gravity battery technology offers to lift heavy loads to a height at times when there is an excess of energy in the system. The descent of these same weights will ensure the release of energy during peak hours. It is noted that the efficiency of this technology reaches 80%.
The idea is very simple, and the developers believe that it is the future. Right now, a pilot plant is already operating in Switzerland, capable of storing and delivering up to 5 megawatts of energy. In addition, the construction of two larger storage facilities in China and Texas is planned. The first will have a capacity of about 100 megawatts, the second at least 36 megawatts. The project involves the use of “bricks” weighing 24 tons of compressed soil with the addition of a polymer. The developers calculated that the descent of a previously raised brick would provide a return to the power system of 1 megawatt of energy.
Raising and lowering heavy blocks seems to be a profitable and well-adjusted solution. It can be used to store solar and wind energy for future use to reduce dependence on coal, oil and gas. This approach fully fits into the canvas of modern eco-trends. For the utilities sector, this is a great opportunity to adapt to an ever-changing environment, when energy resources are not only rising in price, but may also become scarce.