As renewable energy sources are adopted around the world, scientists and engineers are constantly looking for innovative solutions to store and distribute energy efficiently.

Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy are not endless when it comes to meeting the energy needs of humanity. While these green-friendly technologies are critical to reducing reliance on fossil fuels, the fact that the wind does not always blow and the sun shines only during the day cannot be ignored.

Technologies such as nuclear micro-reactors, lithium-ion batteries and the long-term potential of nuclear fusion are all examples of innovative approaches that can overcome the disadvantages of renewable energy. Among these solutions came the idea of ​​using the power of gravity to generate kinetic energy during periods when renewable energy production was low.

The idea of ​​turning the power of gravity into energy, which seems like an idea out of science fiction movies, is turning into reality. After several years of development and small-scale testing, it’s an interesting concept that has attracted a lot of attention in recent years.

Gravity batteries came back into the spotlight when one of the key players in this field, the Swiss company Energy Vault, announced that it was on the verge of the first real tests.

Leveraging essentially the power of gravity, these devices can transform the way we store energy and empower our lives. So what is this “Gravity Battery”? Can this cutting-edge technology, harnessing one of the fundamental forces of the universe, help solve our energy storage problem? What awaits us in the future of renewable energy? 360 Energy General Manager Dr. We talked a little bit about the subject with Cihad Terzioğlu.

A gravity battery, also known as energy storage systems, is a storage device that uses the force of gravity to store and release energy.

Unlike conventional batteries, which rely on chemical reactions or mechanical methods, gravity cells use height differences and potential energy.

Gravity batteries are a member of the mechanical energy storage technology family. Don’t be surprised if it is called a battery, it is a system with an electric motor added to the rope, weight and pulley system that has been used since ancient times.

The gravity cell system usually includes a long structure, pulleys, and large weights. Weights are lifted to a high position using elevators or cranes and potential energy is stored. When energy is needed, the uplifted masses are released and potential energy is converted into electricity. This process can be repeated cyclically.

Photo: Gravitricity[Fotoğraf: Gravitricity]

We are familiar with this technology from the winding clocks we used to have in our homes, and even from the Big Ben clock in London.

360 Energy General Manager Dr. Cihad Terzioglu

As its working principle, it is based on the principle that the electric motor winds the rope with a weight at the end with the energy produced from solar or wind sources, and when needed, the rope is released to operate the engine like a generator.

Unlike conventional batteries, which rely on chemical reactions or mechanical methods, gravity cells use height differences and potential energy.

Step by step to the power of gravity

Robert Piconi, CEO of Energy Vault, claimed that his gravity-based energy storage solution could provide “the lowest cost of energy storage in the world”.

Energy Vault is currently building two large-scale gravity cells. The first plant is under construction 400km west of Texas and is intended to provide 36 megawatts of power for energy company Enel. This 140 meters high facility is an important step for the future of “Gravity Batteries”.

However, the second project in China is even more impressive in terms of the amount of energy it will generate and is a valuable indicator of the technology’s potential. Although the Chinese plant is slightly shorter at 120 metres, it has a large footprint and will provide more than 100 megawatts of energy to residents of Rudong city, located near Shanghai.

Gravity batteries: New way of storing energy

Although it seems like a utopian project, it is very close to realization. So what are the advantages and disadvantages, is it sustainable?

The fact that it does not have lost current, does not cause environmental pollution, has a long economic life and works with a higher efficiency in the long term creates my belief that it can find a place among energy storage technologies in the future.

360 Energy General Manager Dr. Cihad Terzioglu

Gravity batteries have the advantage of high efficiency. Since there are no chemical reactions or energy conversions, energy storage and recovery losses are minimal, which is a huge advantage in terms of overall efficiency.

Also, unlike conventional batteries, gravity batteries do not degrade significantly over time. The absence of chemical reactions and the use of robust mechanical components contribute to their longevity and reduce the need for frequent replacement or maintenance.

“Looking at the current conditions, gravity batteries are quite sustainable”

Dr. Terzioğlu emphasized that gravity batteries create a very sustainable technology impression when viewed under current conditions, and added:

“Although the results are unlikely to change, the most accurate analysis will be given when commercial use cases emerge.”

After hundreds of damage to the world we live in and our only home, our search for and need for clean energy is more than ever. We now also consider the environmental compatibility of a new technology. The good news is gravity batteries have a minimal environmental impact. They stand out as a sustainable option for energy storage, as they are not based on rare or hazardous materials and their operation does not produce harmful emissions.

If we do not show the same effort and sensitivity we show towards renewable and sustainable searches and solutions in energy production, we will leave one leg of the table lame.

360 Energy General Manager Dr. Cihad Terzioglu

While gravity batteries represent an innovative and sustainable energy storage approach. By harnessing the power of gravity, these systems can play an important role in meeting our growing energy demands and shaping the energy landscape for a future powered by clean and renewable resources.

It is possible to live in batteries if we do not show the engineering dedication required by nature, similar to the critical problems such as the geographical distribution injustice of oil, natural gas and coal reserves that we encounter in traditional energy sources, environmental pollution in the process of bringing the found reserves above ground, and greenhouse gas emissions that arise during their use. For this reason, we look forward to every environmental and sustainable solution and strive to provide the necessary R&D and support.

360 Energy General Manager Dr. Cihad Terzioglu

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