Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Energy Can Be Stored in Tall Brick Towers

Energy
Energy Can Be Stored in Tall Brick Towers
The Energy Vault uses gravity to store excess energy. Energy Vault Inc. youtu.be

Storing large amounts of energy is key to using more renewable energy because the wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine.


One new method of energy storage uses gravity. The Energy Vault is a giant tower with a crane at its center and thousands of massive stackable bricks, each weighing more than a fully loaded school bus.

"We utilize excess solar energy when it's produced and not needed – or excess wind," says CEO Robert Piconi. "And that drives these motors on the crane that allow us to lift and stack these composite bricks."

Piconi says when energy is needed, the process is reversed. The bricks are lowered to the ground on cables. As they fall, they release kinetic energy, which is converted to electricity. Then when excess energy is available again, the tower is rebuilt.

Piconi says an Energy Vault can be installed almost anywhere. The bricks are made on-site from soil that's excavated when the system is built, or even from local waste materials like used concrete.

"We wanted something scalable. We didn't want environmental impacts," he says.

This year, systems are being built in India and Switzerland. Piconi says that as the technology spreads, it can help elevate the use of clean energy.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

Susanna Pershern / Submerged Resources Center/ National Park Service / public domain

By Melissa Gaskill

Two decades ago scientists and volunteers along the Virginia coast started tossing seagrass seeds into barren seaside lagoons. Disease and an intense hurricane had wiped out the plants in the 1930s, and no nearby meadows could serve as a naturally dispersing source of seeds to bring them back.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Fridays for Future climate activists demonstrate in Bonn, Germany on Sept. 25, 2020. Roberto Pfeil / picture alliance via Getty Images

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2019 and have continued climbing this year, despite lockdowns and other measures to curb the pandemic, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday, citing preliminary data.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The Argentine black-and-white tegu is an invasive species that can reach four-feet long. Mark Newman / Getty Images

These black-and-white lizards could be the punchline of a joke, except the situation is no laughing matter.

Read More Show Less
Smoke covers the skies over downtown Portland, Oregon, on Sept. 9, 2020. Diego Diaz / Icon Sportswire

By Isabella Garcia

September in Portland, Oregon, usually brings a slight chill to the air and an orange tinge to the leaves. This year, it brought smoke so thick it burned your throat and made your eyes strain to see more than 20 feet in front of you.

Read More Show Less
A rare rusty-spotted cat is spotted in the wild in 2015. David V. Raju / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 4.0

Misunderstanding the needs of how to protect three rare cat species in Southeast Asia may be a driving factor in their extinction, according to a recent study.

Read More Show Less