AUG 27, 2019 6:00 AM PDT

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

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
OCT 24, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 24, 2019
Record-making Nuclear Fusion Device to Rescue Dwindling Medical Isotope Supply
Neutron generators are a type of nuclear fusion device that can produce a stream of neutrons through merging hydrogen atoms. Because of the intri...
NOV 18, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 18, 2019
The Elements that Could Go "Extinct"?
Extinction doesn't just happen in the world of biology — it might also have to chemical elements. Our world of modern technologies relies on a lo...
NOV 19, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 19, 2019
Can We Terraform Mars?
Space agencies and commercial space companies are taking the idea of colonizing Mars very seriously. There’s just one problem: the red planet isn&rsq...
DEC 14, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 14, 2019
Molecules of the Year 2019
The Chemical & Engineering News, an outlet by American Chemical Society (ACS), polled its audience for the most interesting molecules that were reporte...
DEC 15, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 15, 2019
MAVEN Mission Connects Mars' Wind Patterns to Surface Features
NASA’s MAVEN mission, launched on November 18th, 2013, has been orbiting Mars and investigating the planet’s features for more than half a deca...
DEC 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 16, 2019
Here's What Would Happen if the Earth Stopped Orbiting the Sun
The Earth orbits the Sun once every 365 days, or one full year. It does this while whizzing through the vacuum of space at break-neck speeds of up to 110,0...
Loading Comments...