UK start-up Gravitricity yesterday announced it has secured £650,000 of government backing to help rejuvenate old mine shafts to store energy with the help of weights and winches. The technology harnesses the power of gravity by using a “massive” 2,000 tonnes weight suspended in mine shafts to capture power generated by intermittent renewables such as wind and solar, the firm explained. The system is designed as an alternative to battery storage system and could similarly help balance the grid during periods of peak demand. However, unlike batteries Gravitricity claims its system can operate for decades “without any degradation or reduction in performance”. Gravitricity said it plans to use the Innovate UK funding to start building a scale demonstrator for the technology later this year, and then to find a site to install a full-scale prototype by 2020. The firm is initially eyeing the construction of 1-20MW models and estimates each system will last for up to 50 years.
Business Green 8th Feb 2018 read more »
What goes up must come down . . . and inventors are hoping that a vivid illustration of the saying may swing into action with disused Scottish mineshafts being used to store renewable energy. Gravitricity has secured a government grant to fund the suspension of massive weights in pit workings to generate power for the grid. The Edinburgh company believes that it can use gravity and relatively simple engineering mechanisms as an energy store. It is proposing to hang a weight of up to 2,000 tonnes down a mineshaft, held by cables attached to winches on the surface. When the grid or local wind turbines are producing surplus energy, the weight would be lifted up the shaft; when demand outstrips supply, it would be lowered, and the resultant movement of the winches would generate electricity. Gravitricity said that the £650,000 grant from Innovate UK would allow it to start building a demonstration of the technology this year. It hopes to find a site to install a full-scale prototype by 2020.
Times 8th Feb 2018 read more »
Herald 8th Feb 2018 read more »