AUG 27, 2019 6:00 AM PDT

Could A Concrete Tower Be the Next Breakthrough in Energy Storage?

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Energy Vault, a Switzerland-based startup company recently received a big boost of funding to bring their low tech, almost obscure energy storage solution into reality.

For a common battery, such as the vastly popular lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery, electric energy is stored in the form of ions. The obvious advantages of Li-ion batteries include high charge/discharge efficiency, and high energy density. But lithium mining bears a high economic and environmental cost. Not to mention, Li-ion batteries would eventually lose most of their charge after a certain number of charging cycles.

Energy Vault invented a simple device to store energy, using three almost fool-proof elements: heavy cement blocks, cranes and motors. During "charging", electricity powers their system to pile blocks on top of each to build a tall tower, turning the electric energy into gravitational potential energy. For "discharging", the system lowers the blocks to the ground level, harnessing the kinetic energy from the proess to run its generator. The "vault" is expected to work side by side with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, in order to solve their off-peak electricity storage issues.

Despite its apparent advantages over traditional power storage apparatus, it remains to be seen if this Swiss company can turn their innovative idea into practical solutions for the real world.

Source: Quartz via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
You May Also Like
AUG 21, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Biorubber glue reduces surgery time and improves pain relief
AUG 21, 2020
Biorubber glue reduces surgery time and improves pain relief
A study published recently in Biomaterials showcases a new development in biomaterials that could forever change th ...
AUG 31, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Light-weight and fast-charging: the next development of the silicon battery
AUG 31, 2020
Light-weight and fast-charging: the next development of the silicon battery
Engineers are continually working on developing more efficient, sustainable batteries – and there has been a lot o ...
SEP 03, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Designing the most effective - and comfortable- face mask yet
SEP 03, 2020
Designing the most effective - and comfortable- face mask yet
Engineers from Georgia Institute of Technology have designed a facemask that is comfortable, safe, and – best of a ...
OCT 09, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Plastic-Eating Cocktail Could Help Establish Infinite Recycling
OCT 09, 2020
Plastic-Eating Cocktail Could Help Establish Infinite Recycling
There's no doubt that the current recycling system isn't efficient enough in handling the plastic wastes our soc ...
OCT 11, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The mysteries of tiny surfing robots revealed
OCT 11, 2020
The mysteries of tiny surfing robots revealed
Mechanical engineers from Michigan Technological University have implemented the laws of surface tension and propulsion ...
OCT 29, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Einstein: Gravity? What Gravity?
OCT 29, 2020
Einstein: Gravity? What Gravity?
Try imagining a fictional conversation between Issac Newton and Albert Einstein: "The apple falls toward the ground ...
Loading Comments...