Latest progress of global gravity energy storage project

Latest progress of global gravity energy storage project

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Green Gravity and Yancoal study innovative technology of gravity energy storage

Recently, Green Gravity, an Australian gravity energy storage technology innovation company, and Yancoal signed a MoU to study the feasibility of the application of Green Gravity’s innovative gravity energy storage technology in Qianaoxing Coal Mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Green Gravity and Yancoal have agreed to cooperate to complete the pre feasibility study to investigate the possibility of using the retired ventilation shaft of Aoxing Coal Mine for renewable energy storage.

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In preparing this study, the team will also assess the potential of gravity energy storage technology to provide important long-term energy storage for the NSW power grid and how to achieve sustainable utilization of abandoned mines.

Yancoal is a leading low-cost Australian coal producer in the international maritime market. Its shareholder is Yankuang Energy in Shandong, China. Green Gravity has announced that the company has found at least 3GWh of potential storage capacity from 175 locations that have been evaluated and considered appropriate.

In May this year, Green Gravity has just completed the first round of financing, obtaining 1.4 million Australian dollars. The company is currently raising 18 million Australian dollars in financing. 

Gravity energy storage refers to the process of transforming electric energy into gravitational potential energy by moving an object to a certain height. Then, by moving the object to a lower height, the energy is released back to electrical energy, and in this process, the kinetic energy of the falling object is used to rotate the motor to generate electricity.

The weight of the weight block that a gravity energy storage center moves depends on the depth and market configuration of a single storage center. For large shafts, up to 40 metric tons of weight can be moved, which can store up to 10 kWh of energy per 100 meters of mine depth. The average weight of a car is 1.3 tons, which means that the weight of moving objects is equivalent to 30 cars.

Green Gravity and Yancoat study innovative technology of gravity energy storage

Advantages of the gravity energy storage of Green Gravity

Compared with electrochemical energy storage, Green Gravity’s gravity energy storage has the following advantages:

● Parts can be purchased locally
In contrast, lithium batteries need to be assembled in the global supply chain because of their complex processing technology and rare minerals.

● Material safety and environmental protection
The technology uses basic steel cables, motors and recycled inert materials, which is safe and environmentally friendly. Hazardous materials used in chemical batteries are not easy to recycle.

● Long service life
The system will not leak energy over time, will not deteriorate and has a long life. Green Gravity’s gravity energy storage system can provide 3 to 4 times longer equipment life than chemical batteries.

● Low cost
By simply using proven mechanical components and abandoned mines, idle mines can be converted into energy storage systems that can accelerate the absorption of renewable energy at a lower cost than chemical batteries.

Australia will build 0.5-1TWh long-term energy storage system from 2030 to 2040

At present, many different companies in the world are exploring different gravity energy storage systems. Australia will build up to 0.5-1TWh long term energy storage system between 2030 and 2040, including gravity energy storage, compressed air energy storage, pumped storage, etc.

At present, the mainstream commercially available gravity energy storage route is developed by Energy Vault (EV), a world-famous energy technology innovation company. Founded on January 1, 2017, the company is a Swiss renewable Energy storage technology and product research and development company.

In 2020, the company will establish a prototype of “brick moving tower for energy storage” in Switzerland, and use cranes to move 35 tons of bricks up and down to achieve energy storage. In 2021, each building brick in the 20 storey modular building “Energy Vault Resilience Center” can convert 10 MWh of electricity to achieve energy storage demand.

Australia will build 0.5-1TWh long-term energy storage system from 2030 to 2040

CNTY will build a wind photovoltaic water storage integrated energy base

CNTY is introducing EV energy storage technology to promote the rapid implementation of gravity energy storage projects in China. The company has laid out gravity energy storage and reached a 3GWh+cooperation agreement with SPIC, etc.

On November 8, 2022, CNTY announced that it would reach a strategic cooperation framework agreement with the People’s Government of Bijie City, China Three Gorges Construction Engineering Corporation, SP Group and China Construction Seventh Engineering Bureau to jointly build an integrated energy base of “wind, photovoltaic, water and storage” in Bijie City, China.

The project mainly includes the construction of a gravity energy storage project with an investment of no less than 400000 kilowatt hours, and the simultaneous construction of a pumped storage project with an installed capacity of 1.5 million kilowatts by matching the new energy indicators (photovoltaic, wind power) of 1 million kilowatts with every 500 million RMB of fixed asset investment.

In January 2022, CNTY won the exclusive authorization of Energy Vault gravity energy storage technology in China with 50 million US dollars. In addition to the $50 million invested by Energy Vault before its listing, CNTY invested $100 million in this technology.

In May this year, CNTY and State Grid Jiangsu Comprehensive Energy Service signed a cooperation agreement to jointly build the world’s first 25MW/100MWh gravity energy storage demonstration project in Rudong, Jiangsu, China. At present, the cast-in-place pile foundation construction has started and entered the actual construction phase, which is expected to be put into commercial operation in 2023.

Companies in the field of gravity energy storage also include Gravitricity in the UK, which also uses underground technology; Heindl Energy of Germany and Gravity Power of the United States.

The technology of piston pump is proposed by Gravity Power. It uses the gravity potential energy of the piston to form water pressure in the sealed channel to realize energy storage, which is suitable for medium and small power energy storage in cities. The company has built a megawatt demonstration project of piston gravity energy storage in Bavaria since 2021.

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