The Anonymous Widower

Could A Gravitricity Energy Storage System Be Built Into A Wind Turbine?

On Thursday, I watched the first programme in a BBC series called Powering Britain. This programme was about wind power.

The program had close-up views of the inside of a turbine tower in the Hornsea Wind Farm in the North Sea. The spacious tower enclosed a lift for engineers to access the gubbins on the top.

In the Wikipedia entry for wind turbine, there is a section, with is entitled Most Powerful, Tallest, Largest And With Highest 24-Hour Production, where this is said.

GE Wind Energy’s Haliade-X is the most powerful wind turbine in the world, at 12MW. It also is the tallest, with a hub height of 150 m and a tip height of 260m. It also has the largest rotor of 220 m and largest swept area at 38000 m2. It also holds the record for the highest production in 24 hours.

Two certainties about wind turbines are that they will get larger and more powerful, if the progress over the last few years is continued.

So could a Gravitricity energy storage system be built into the tower of the turbine?

A lot would depend on the structural engineering of the combination and the strength of the tower to support a heavy weight suspended from the top, either inside or even outside like a collar.

To obtain a MWh of storage, with a height of 150 metres, would need a weight of 2,500 tonnes, which would be over three hundred cubic metres of wrought iron.

Gravitricity are talking of 2,500 tonnes in their systems, but I suspect the idea of a wind turbine, with a practical level of storage inside the tower, is not yet an engineering possibility.


October 31, 2020 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | ,


  1. GE Haliade-X is now 13MW, the GE engineers devised a software tweak that boost power by 1MW, the turbines are being installed at Dogger Bank A and B wind farms North Sea,UK and will be operational in 2023. The Fully Charged Show audio podcast ep Charles Howarth Offshore Wind GE Oct 12 2020 has an interview about wind by Robert Llewellyn. Siemens unveiled a 14MW turbine that can output 15MW with a power boost function, which will go into production also in 2023 and hopefully the same year 20MW turbine R & D phase will have finished.

    Comment by jason leahy | November 1, 2020 | Reply

  2. 20 MW will be some turbine!

    Comment by AnonW | November 1, 2020 | Reply

  3. Graviticity would probably be much safer if the 2,500 tonnes weight was in a well under the turbine supported by ground-level equipment rather than building an extremely costly ultra strong tower to support 2,500 tonnes. Imagine a dandelion stem in the wind, but with a coconut instead of flowers on top… ūüėČ

    In addition, that well could easily be drilled by the same pendulum system that would be used to hold the 2,500 tonnes weight, and you have all the electricity you need to power that drill on site, cement the side walls and move the materials on a barge to be reused on land. Limestone deposits are very valuable for agriculture, for instance.

    But do we even have blueprints yet for how such a gravity-based system would work? I assume it would use the turbine’s generator, for instance turning the whole system including the blades when there is no wind, instead of adding a second generator just for graviticity. On the other hand, a second generator would also allow to produce electricity when there is so much wind that the turbines need to shut down, and it would create a redundancy of sort, as well as not stress both the generator and the tower.

    Comment by chimel31 | November 14, 2020 | Reply

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