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 17, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Air Quality Changes Throughout Lockdowns Prove Optimistic
AUG 17, 2021
Air Quality Changes Throughout Lockdowns Prove Optimistic
COVID-19 lockdowns have reduced human activities and, subsequently, a reduction in air-polluting emissions. Air quality ...
SEP 10, 2021
Space & Astronomy
The Future (and Ethics) of Giant Telescopes
SEP 10, 2021
The Future (and Ethics) of Giant Telescopes
The fate of giant telescopes hangs in the balance as this decade comes to an end.
SEP 10, 2021
Space & Astronomy
NASA Announces December Launch Date for James Webb Space Telescope
SEP 10, 2021
NASA Announces December Launch Date for James Webb Space Telescope
Recently, NASA confirmed that the gamut of earth-based testing for the James Webb Space Telescope has been completed. Ju ...
SEP 14, 2021
Plants & Animals
Ant Teeth Can Function Like Miniature Metal Tools
SEP 14, 2021
Ant Teeth Can Function Like Miniature Metal Tools
Researchers have discovered the secret to the powerful cutting ability of ants: they have teeth on the outside of their ...
SEP 14, 2021
Space & Astronomy
NASA is Planning to Shoot a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid
SEP 14, 2021
NASA is Planning to Shoot a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid
NASA can detect asteroids, so there's been plenty of speculation about what might happen if we discover an asteroid ...
NOV 30, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Don't Deep Fry a Frozen Turkey: The Science Behind Thanksgiving Explosions
NOV 30, 2021
Don't Deep Fry a Frozen Turkey: The Science Behind Thanksgiving Explosions
Thanksgiving may have come and gone, but the lessons we learn from the holiday don’t end when the final plates are ...
Loading Comments...