Energy Vault: Leveraging Gravity with Innovation

Energy Vault is here to transform the world of sustainable energy. Forget batteries, now storing energy is going to be easier than ever. And most importantly, it is going to be safe for the environment. 

Wondering how? Let’s have a look. 

With the amount of pollution rising in today’s world, switching to different forms of sustainable energy is the need of the hour. Sustainable energy refers to renewable energy. When you implement these energy sources, you are not causing any harm to the environment. Unlike fossil fuel and other non-renewable sources, sustainable energy comes from the sun, water, biomass, wind, wave, and plenty of other natural forces that are never going to perish with usage. Chances of pollution are also less. 

Wind Turbine energy vault
Wind Turbine

Source: unsplash.com

These energy sources are undoubtedly useful alternatives to traditional non-renewable sources. But it can be a little difficult to get continuous access to sunlight, tidal waves, wind, etc. You have to stay at nature’s mercy at all times to meet the daily energy requirements. To sort out this issue, a handful of companies have come up with innovative solutions. They are aiming to build sustainable energy storage that can be used for stocking energy for long hours. Sounds fascinating, right?

Energy Vault: About The Company

In case you are wondering who came up with this path-breaking idea, it is Energy Vault– a start-up based in Switzerland. Founded by Bill Gross and Robert A. Piconi in 2017, the company is fueled by a group of highly talented, dedicated professionals.

The brains behind the start-up have a deep understanding and knowledge of the technical whereabouts, and they also care about the conservation of the environment. The company holds nature in high esteem and aims to provide cost-efficient sustainable energy storage solutions. Their goal is to make energy storage more accessible. By inventing a way to store sustainable energy, they have opened a new avenue for future generations. 

In recent news, SoftBank Vision Fund has made an investment of a hefty $110 million on Energy Vault. And even before that, the start-up had received funding from Cemex, a multinational company based in Mexico. India’s biggest power generation company Tata Power has already agreed to buy this storage system. A number of US companies have also shown interest.  

Safe to say, Energy Vault might emerge as the biggest name in the sustainable energy industry in the years to come. 

Energy Vault
Renewable Energy

Source: unsplash.com

Now, let’s have a closer look at what Energy Vault has to offer. 

The Solution Offered by Energy Vault 

Energy Vault has come up with an energy storage system that is entirely based upon gravity and kinetic energy. Their storage system operates at a highly affordable cost. 

Solar Panels Energy Vault
Solar Panels

Source: unsplash.com

The system developed by Energy Vault took inspiration from pumped hydro plants. The hydro plants depend on gravity and motion of water to produce energy and power. Energy Vault’s power storage operates in a similar manner, the only difference is that it makes use of composite blocks in lieu of water. Interestingly, these blocks are environment-friendly, as they are made entirely using recycled waste products. 

While a pump hydro system is pretty expensive, Energy Vault storage makes use of the most cost-efficient technologies to deliver the same service at a much cheaper price. Such a unique and innovative design, coupled with the use of affordable materials, is what makes their storage so extraordinary. 

So now, you can have access to power generated by sustainable sources, without entirely relying upon the climate of the area. While water and solar power panels provide power supply for a limited amount of time, Energy Vault can help you store that energy for a long time. 

Why Should You Care? 

Unless you have been living under a rock all these years, you are probably aware of the fact that our non-renewable energy sources are on the verge of running out. Sources such as carbon-based fossil fuel cannot be renewed or created overnight. And not to mention, the huge amount of pollution they are contributing to the world. 

Renewable sources are available in nature in abundance. But to actively utilize them in generating power, there are plenty of limitations. Unlike non-renewable energy, you cannot use solar, wind, or water energy 24×7. But we do need a continuous supply of power. And Energy Vault storage is here at your rescue.

Design and Construction 

Proposed Design by Energy Vault

Source: Energy Vault

Now, let’s see how Energy Vault has designed its solution. In this technology, a crane with multiple heads is used for storing energy. This is done by piling up heavy blocks one upon the other. The energy produced in the elevation gain of the blocks is crucial here. When there is a need for power supply, the crane is again used for bringing down the composite blocks to the ground.

The movement of the blocks produces power. Here, high-tech AI software is used to supervise and conduct the entire process. The company’s primary aim is to provide a durable energy storage solution for storing sustainable energy. Using this technology, it is possible to store power for more than 12 hours, which is commendable indeed. 

To sum up, 

1.The blocks or bricks weigh about 35 tons. They are lifted up and the system stores the energy that is produced during the elevation.

2. The blocks are brought down to the ground using the crane. During this time, kinetic energy is transformed into electric energy. 

3. You can store power for a very long period. This process is efficient as a long-term solution, and also works great for the short or medium term. 

This technology is surely here to change the way the world perceives renewable energy storage.

Cost Involved

Energy Vault claims to offer energy storage for a longer duration at a much lower price than traditional forms of storage. At present, the cost of the Energy Vault system is approximately $150 per kWh. In most cases, batteries are used as energy storage.

But we are not quite sure about how long they can last– they can degrade over the years. This is where Energy Vault has an upper hand. Their proposed solution is going to last for 30 years or more, without any degradation in the performance rate. 

Blocks play an important role in the entire design. Using concrete blocks would result in a hefty price tag. To counter this problem, Energy Vault makes concrete blocks at a very low price, by mixing concrete with waste materials. 

What Are The Pros And Cons of Energy Vault Storage? 

Pros

  • Highly sustainable
  • Eco-friendly
  • Makes use of industrial waste and landfills to create blocks 
  • The construction design is safe and secure
  • The foundation pad is easy to install
  • The crane is simple to construct
  • Materials for making bricks are delivered at the site of the project
  • You can install it wherever and whenever you like 
  • Access to continuous power day and night 
  • Makes optimum use of renewable resources 
  • Power storage for 8 hours to more than 12 hours
  • Blend of mechanical and software technologies
  • Highly efficient design
  • No requirement of a factory 

Cons

The solution proposed by Energy Vault is impressive, for sure. However, there is one minor issue with its installation. It requires a large amount of space to install the tower.

The Swiss company Energy Vault used a mind-blowing idea to utilize kinetic and gravitational energy for storing electricity. The company’s vision of creating a safe and sustainable world is commendable. Their technology and design seems promising. It is only a matter of time before more and more giant companies embrace this technology to make the most out of sustainable resources. We really look forward to exploring what Energy Vault has in store for the world.

Now the question is, can this storage system solve all of our energy-related issues? Well, this can be a good place to begin a journey towards using more clean energy. As dutiful citizens of the world, it is our responsibility to protect the world from harmful pollutants and to refrain from using non-renewable energy sources as much as possible.

Sustainable energy has enormous potential, without a doubt, but it also has its constraints. Energy Vault is trying to bridge the gap between affordability, sustainability, and high technology. Since we already know that a number of big companies are willing to embrace this technology, we can say that this is something that the world requires right now. We are eager to see how this technology ushers in an effective change in the world. 

For more information about Energy Vault, or if you are interested in setting up this solution, you can contact the company.

Website: https://energyvault.com/

Address: Via Pessina 13 Lugano, 6900 Switzerland (Headquarters)

Phone: +44 (0)7 783 136 804

Email: [email protected]

Facebook

LinkedIn

Instagram

Twitter

Leave a Comment