Gas – and coal-fired power plants can be driven high in performance, if much power is needed. The consumption drops, they produce less energy. In the case of the clean, renewable energy that is, unfortunately, not so. Solar power there is when the sun is shining, in the evening it looks with the generation of energy in the truest sense of zapping duster. Similar to wind energy: the Case of slack in all the Parks are quiet.

Eco-electricity is cheaper

International can manufacture wind power plants, in the meantime, energy is cheaper than fossil fuel power plants. The biggest question of the energy transition is therefore: How can we save these natural energy? In the laboratory, numerous variants are contemplated. On a large scale, only one is tested: the Excess energy is used to make special water power plants run backwards. You pump water into an elevated reservoir when electricity demand of this water rushes to the valley, and drives the turbines of the power plant.

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the masters of this technique are the Swiss, because there are many high-altitude reservoirs that are suitable to store this energy. How can you use this principle, when no mountains and no lake is present, asked the Swiss company Energy Vault and presents a solution for the global Problem: It is a giant tower in the huge metal blocks is to be moved on cables. The Video demonstrates the System.

Amazing performance, data

With the wind energy to be hoisted the blocks in the level, then you will be on a steel rope again down and out of your case, energy, electricity. The storage energy of the system is the result of gravitational force, height of fall and mass of the blocks. The Mobile blocks of a six-armed crane. The tower is 33 storeys high and required the area of a football field. A total of 5000 concrete moving blocks. The whole is controlled by Algorithms, so that the Loading and unloading movement be as effective as possible.

Another advantage of the system: “These towers are typically built in the vicinity of wind farms or solar plants,” said Robert Piconi, General Manager of the Energy Vault, to “Tech Crunch”. The power does not need to be transferred over the network to a remote location. Similarly, the tower feeds its energy via the existing connection of wind parks into the power system.

“a few years Ago we realized how important storage would be,” said Piconi. The three founders studied several ways to transfer the idea with the reservoirs on other materials. “We have seen first, a steel tower, but that was too expensive. We then thought it, to pump water into a tower, but there we efficiency had problems. Then we came to the stones, the concrete and the crane.”

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A single tower has a capacity of 35 megawatt hours, he can give a power output of 4 megawatts. The latency is very short. In only a few milliseconds to the tower starts in 2.9 seconds, the tower can drive its output to 100 percent. The lifting and Lowering of the blocks and the transformation chain from electricity to stored energy to electricity according to the Energy Vault, a very little loss to lift. The company gives an efficiency of 90 percent.

Higher life span than battery technology

another advantage of the system is the long life time of 30 to 40 years. The long life is important, so that a storage system can be an acceptable ecological footprint behind. A modern Lithium-ion battery can last even up to 15 years, but only about 1000 charging cycles before its performance noticeably drops. In the operation of such a system, the battery would be worn out after three years.

The energy towers are more than just a planning idea. In addition to the company headquarters in Lugano, a small demonstration plant is to show customers the feasibility. The first 35-MWh System will be used in 2019 in India for The Tata Power Company. Thus, the daily requirement of 35,000 Four-persons-households to be fully cached.

The System is comparatively cheap. A tower shall not exceed a cost of eight million dollars. Energy Vault and the lenders Idealab incubator in Pasadena, California, a stormy development of the business. Business partner Cemex, the largest cement manufacturer in the world, sees in the towers a “disruptive” technology that will change the rules of the game the production of Energy fundamentally. In the next two years, between 500 MWh and GWh of storage capacity to be built. That’s the equivalent of 14 to 29 towers.

birds of prey decimated If wind turbines interfere dramatically into the Ecosystem

Apparently, the wind power plant are in fact true bird-Killer. A study from the Western Ghats mountains in India, shows how three-quarters were eliminated, all the birds of prey of the rotors. As a result, the whole Ecosystem was there in a mess.

Gernot Kramper

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