June 23, 2024

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Gravity batteries to store your energy

Gravity batteries to store your energy

Over the past few years, renewable energies have been able to expand, gain efficiency, strengthen their industry, and reduce costs. However, they still have a primary mission: to store them. If we want wind or solar to continue to play a prominent role in decarbonization, we need to compensate for their intermittent nature first. The challenge is based on a premise as simple as it is difficult to solve: Since the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, how can we conserve energy during peak generation hours when it’s needed?

to Energy safe The answer goes through gravitational batteries. It is already building two parks in Asia and America to prove it.

The great challenge of renewables. Over the past decade and a half, solar energy costs have fallen 83% and wind energy 63%. During the same period, its weight in electricity supply expanded, its technology improved to gain efficiency and open up new possibilities for expansion, its supply chain strengthened globally while the Chinese industry played a decisive role in this sector. However, not all battles are won.

If we want to boost its weight, we need to combine wind energy or photovoltaic energy with a system that allows energy conservation. “Without storage we will not solve the energy problem,” Get to know the professor Francisco Javier Rodriguez to elDiario.es. Many solutions are already on the table, such as hydraulic pumping stations or thermal and chemical preservation systems, as well as battery production that has its own challenges – useful life, material scarcity or component recycling.

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What if the solution is gravity? This is the proposal of the Swiss company Energy safe or the British gravity, who has worked for more than a decade on solutions that make partial use of the force described by Newton. how? In the case of the Energy Vault, to be more precise, the use of gravity and kinetic energy with an automated weighing system. Its dynamics are simple and take part in ideas already applied in reversible hydroelectric power plants.

When there is surplus photovoltaic or wind energy, the Energy Vault mechanism uses it to operate a mechanical winch with which it lifts the private blocks to great heights. There it remains suspended, until the energy is “recovered”, at which point the charges slide down to activate a system of cables and turbines that generate electricity.

Memory work … and accounts. The name Energy Vault might ring a bell. A year ago we told you about the company and its experimental system consisting of a 70-meter six-beam crane and a set of blocks made from recyclable materials. According to the data revealed by the company at the time, each block level has a storage capacity of 10 to 35 MWh and allows the battery to deliver an output power of 5 MW.

The philosophy was the same: raise blocks during the day, take advantage of periods when energy is plentiful and cheap, and lower them when demand is high and the supply of renewable energy can’t supply. Assembled in Arbedo-Castion, in southern Switzerland, this crane system was just one chapter in the company’s deployment.

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The main components of the system.

Muscle tightening in China and the United States. That’s what Energy Vault, which is building two ambitious complexes in China and the United States to serve as gravity batteries, is now pursuing. His approach goes well beyond the lever we saw a year ago in Switzerland. As detailed by CNET, is building two large complexes: one in Rudong, north of Shanghai; The other is in Snyder, Texas.

To power it, the company will use hundreds of 3.5 by 27 by 1.3 meter blocks made from compressed earth, water and a special polymer weighing 24 metric tons. You’ll stack them inside the floors, on their highest levels, just like dominoes. When the system is lowering them at 1.9 meters per second, each will generate about one megawatt. “As we slow one down, the next loads up and starts to speed up.” Bill Gross detailsone of the founders of the company, which highlights its efficiency.

What will the new plants be like? Aside from their operation or the fact that they can serve as a showcase for gravity batteries, one of the most interesting aspects of both facilities is that they are actually It’s not just pilot projects.. Built for business. Rudong’s stands for China Tianying, a company dedicated to recycling and waste management. The plant in Texas will provide power to the electric company Enel. The first is located in a 122-meter-high building and will provide a storage capacity of 100 megawatt-hours. The second, in the US, will be installed in a narrower 140-meter building for 36 MWh.

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Just a few days ago Enerhy Vault Subscribed on Twitter Photos of construction progress at its factory in China, which it claims is “the world’s first commercial gravitational energy storage system.” “Around the world, our Snyder team continues to develop civilian activities on our planned second EVx system. This is the first project of its kind in the United States,” Company abounds About the Texas Project.

the pictures: Energy safe

In Xataka: The industry already has an ally for storing energy and facilitating the transition to renewables: rock