Energy storage system with a difference



A report by independent analysts at Imperial College London predicts that Gravitricity’s gravity-fed energy storage system may offer a better long-term cost of energy storage than batteries or other alternatives – particularly in grid balancing and rapid frequency response services. Gravitricity uses a heavy weight – up to 2 kt – suspended in a deep shaft by cables attached to winches. When there is excess electricity, the weight is winched to the top of the shaft ready to generate power.

This weight can then be released when required – in less than a second – and the winches become generators, producing either a large burst of electricity quickly, or releasing it more slowly depending on what is needed. Unlike batteries, the system can operate for decades without any degradation or reduction in performance. The company plans to build models from 1 to 20 MW, and estimates each installation will last for 50 years. They are currently short-listing a number of disused mine shafts for their first full-scale working prototype in 2019/20.

 

Contact Neil Davidson, Gravitricity, neil@neildavidson.org

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Source: EE plublishers

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