Engineers around the world are looking for newer ways to store energy to make it more efficient, cheaper, and sustainable. Although lithium-ion batteries are a great breakthrough technology, we need to do more to make the world fossil-fuel free.
A company called Gravitricity looks forward to providing power grids a way of storage never explored before. Gravitricity uses heavy weights and gravity combination to introduce the most sustainable way of energy storage.
Scottish energy storage outfit @gravitricity is exploring the potential to transform a former Czech coal mine into an energy storage plant with a capacity of up to 8MW https://t.co/u8g2AdlvO3 pic.twitter.com/8MmFD5xEKi
— reNEWS (@reNEWS_) October 26, 2021
How Gravitricity project work?
One of the significant issues with renewable sources is that they are weather dependent. A solar power plant may generate excess energy on a sunny day and will generate less on a cloudy day. The same happens with wind power plants that are too dependent on wind pressure and speed. To overcome these issues, we need more and more storage options that are cheaper and sustainable, which is what Gravitricity aims to do.
Gravity is a force of attraction exerted by heavy masses to attract lighter bodies towards their center, which is the same force that exists between earth and anything above it. Any lifted-up mass at a vertical distance from earth contains potential energy in the form of weight, eventually coming down. By combining gravity and electricity, Gravitricity created a novel methodology based on this natural phenomenon to capture the potential energy of lifted weight and convert it into electricity.
This method of storing energy is for excess energy generated. This gets used to lifting weight with the use of electric winches that act as a generator when we lower the weight. The Gravitricity project has a life of 5 decades with zero performance degradation for 25 years. This means you can store and use energy for 25 years without loss of performance.
What gives Gravitricity edge over lithium-ion battery storage systems?
They have four patents, including control technology, and a novel design for a multi-weight system that can store and deliver power for longer durations. Imperial College London analysts endorsed that Gravitricity multi-weight power storage technology is cheaper than any kind of battery system.
They claim that for a 24.4MWh energy storage system, the Gravitricity project will cost almost half compared to lithium-ion batteries. Their projects would generate 1 to 20MW for a duration of 15-minutes to 8 hours, depending upon power generation quantity. It can support power system inertia as it goes from zero to full power within a second. They plan to make use of decommissioned mineshafts around the world to build these amazing energy storage infrastructures with less budget.
Working towards a sustainable way of storing energy
Energy storage-related technologies are trending topics. The future is currently eying nuclear batteries and supercapacitors. But for now, we need more sustainable ways of storing electricity that support renewable grid integration. Gravitricity projects will have 50 years of design life with no charging cycle limit, as it doesn’t lose quality with usage.
It costs less than a lithium-ion storage system and is more sustainable, as it uses simple materials that get recycled easily. It has adjustable power generation by controlling the speed of lowering the weight to meet power system requirements. Gravitricity projects are efficient up to 80%, which can provide power to 63,000 homes for every hour it discharges. These aspects make it the most sustainable energy storage system for grid power systems.