A new way to store energy

The storage of wind and solar energy for times of a lull is an expensive undertaking so far.

To save 100 Megawatt of renewable energy in giant batteries, for example by Tesla, there are costs of 65.6 million USD, as the US-blog “Tech Crunch” calculated. A new startup in Tessin, Switzerland wants to demonstrate that this can also be done cheaper – and receives a lot of attention for its revolutionary concept.

Even Bill Gates is delighted. He tweeted of some inspirational companies and mentioned Energy Vault (the startup) explicitly.

What makes the idea so revolutionary is the completely different approach. Instead of using batteries or – with larger amounts of energy – reservoir dams, the startup which is based in Lugano uses an 80 meters high crane with six arms and a lot of blocks of pressed construction rubble, weighing 35 tons in total.

The energy vault follows a simple principle: excess energy gets used to lift the blocks and pile them in a tower around the crane, which creates potential energy. To use this energy, for example during a lull, the blocks can simply be moved back to a lower level, which sets the energy free. The entrepreneurs claim on their homepage that up to 35 Megawatt hours can be stored with this method, for a price of seven to eight million USD, as “Tech Crunch” reports.

Source: www.bluewin.ch

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