The Anonymous Widower

Gravitricity Celebrates Success Of 250kW Energy Storage Demonstrator

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Solar Power Portal.

I have already posted about this success in Gravitricity Battery Generates First Power At Edinburgh Site.

But the news story has now been mentioned in several respected publications and web sites.

So this idea, based on traditional Scottish products of heavy weights and girders seems to be getting valuable publicity.

The demonstrator is only small and uses two 25 tonne weights and a fifteen metre tower.

This is only a storage capacity of only 2.04 kWh, but the company is talking of weights totalling up to a massive 12,000 tonnes.

With a fifteen metre tower, that would be 490 kWh.

Note.

  1. The shafts at Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire are 800 metres deep.
  2. The TauTona mine in South Africa is 3.9 kilometres deep
  3. In this article in The Engineer, Gravitricity talk about weights of up to 12,000 tonnes.

These are typical storage capacities.

  • Kellingley – 50 tonnes – 109 kWh
  • Kellingley – 12,000 tonnes – 26.15 MWh
  • TauTona – 50 tonnes – 531 kWh
  • TuaqTona = 12,000 – 127.5 MWh

Accountants before they invest in a company look at the financial figures. As an engineer, I look at the numbers in the science behind their claims.

If the engineering can be made to work, these figures are to say the least; very promising.

They are also beautifully scalable.

If say your application needed a 2 MWh battery and you had a 400 metre shaft available, you can calculate the weight needed. It’s around 1836 tonnes.

The Solar Power Portal article finishes with these two paragraphs.

The company will now look to rollout the technology in a series of full-scale 4-8MW projects, with conversations already underway with mine owners in the UK, Scandinavia, Poland and the Czech Republic, it said. Additionally, in South Africa Gravitricity is working closely with mine operator United Mining Services as part of a programme funded by an Innovate UK Energy Catalyst programme to identify potential schemes.

“A key feature of our full-scale projects will be their long life” added Blair. “Once built, our system can last for over 25 years, with no loss in output or degradation over time. This makes gravity storage cost-effective. And unlike batteries, we have no reliance on rare metals such as cobalt and nickel which are becoming increasingly scarce in the global drive to electrification.”

Note.

  1. I assume that they are 4-8 MWh projects.
  2. Charlie Blair is the Managing Director of Gravitricity.
  3. A weight of 1836 tonnes would give 4 MWh in the 800 metre shaft at Kellingley.

I wouldn’t be surprised that those owning a deep empty hole in the ground will be starting conversations with Gravitricity!

Conclusion

I am not worried, that I bought a few shares in Gravitricity in the crowd-funding last year!

All this good publicity from the BBC, Good News Network, Science, The Engineer, The Times and other media sites won’t harm my investment.

 

April 24, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

There’s Gold In Them There Hills

And lots of other things too!

Since the 1950s, there has always been talk of a mining revival in the UK.

This article on Proactive Investors is entitled The Great British Mining Revival Is Needed Now More Than Ever.

Sixteen mining companies are listed.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | World | | 1 Comment

Faraday Battery Challenge Funded Project “Li4UK” Announces The First Domestic Production Of Lithium Carbonate From UK Sources

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Li4UK.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Li4UK (Securing a Domestic Lithium Supply Chain for the UK), the Faraday Battery Challenge-funded project under the patronage of UKRI (UK Research and Innovation), is pleased to announce that the project Consortium, comprising Wardell Armstrong International Limited (WAI), The Natural History Museum (NHM) and Cornish Lithium Ltd (CLL), has successfully produced lithium carbonate from two UK sources – one from Cornish Lithium’s Trelavour project site in Cornwall and another from Scotland. High purity lithium carbonate is a raw material for lithium-ion battery cells, such as those used in electric vehicles.

When I first heard of this project, I wrote How To Go Mining In A Museum and felt that this project deserved to succeed, given the diligence of the founder.

You never know what you will find in the dusty vaults of a museum.

January 18, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lithium Project Raises Millions In A Day

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Cornish Stuff.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Cornish Lithium raised over £3m yesterday to fund new exploration and today opens up the crowd fund to the community.

It does seem to have been a very successful funding.

This to me is a key paragraph.

The company say they are delighted to note that approximately 15% of the pre-registered investors were from Cornwall.

The Cornishmen and Cornishwomen seem to be backing their local business!

October 15, 2020 Posted by | Finance | , , , | Leave a comment

Alternative Funding Seems To Be Doing Well

I watch a couple of crowdfunding sites and they certainly seem to be still attracting funds.

I have recently invested a small sum in Cornish Lithium, as I like both the technology and history of the company.

Their round of crowdfunding is coming to an end, as they have raised £4.5 million against a target of £1.5 million.

It certainly appears that there is money for a good company in these troubled times.

October 14, 2020 Posted by | Finance, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Whitby: Hundreds Of Jobs Created At Woodsmith Mine

The title of this post, is the same as that article on the BBC.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Two hundred jobs are being created by a company developing a huge potash mine in North Yorkshire.

I have been watching this project for some time and I’m rather glad, that Woodsmith Mine seems to be past its troubles. This is an extract from the first paragraph in the Wikipedia entry.

The mine is expected to have a life of 100 years and has been labelled the biggest mining project in Britain for decades; its twin shafts will be the deepest commercial mineshafts in Britain. The project is expected to generate over £100 billion for the UK economy over a period of 50 years.

When the project is up and running, it will be the deepest mine in Europe and have the longest tunnel in Great Britain.

I also feel that Woodsmith Mine, shows that mining don’t have to ruin the landscape.

 

October 7, 2020 Posted by | Business | , | 2 Comments

Preliminary Sampling Indicate Significant Lithium Grades In Geothermal Waters At United Downs Project, Cornwall

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Think Geoenergy.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Cornish Lithium releases announcement on finding “globally significant” lithium grades in geothermal waters at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project in Cornwall, UK and is now preparing for work on a pilot plant.

The article gives a full explanation.

There is more on this press release on the Cornish Lithium web site.

September 18, 2020 Posted by | Business, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Generating Clean Energy From The Coal Mines

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Engineer.

This is the introductory paragraph.

With a number of the UK’s abandoned coal mines being repurposed for green energy projects, Jon Excell asks whether the legacy of Britain’s polluting industrial past could hold the key to its low carbon future?

A few points from this must-read article.

  • We spend £2.4 billion every year dealing with the water in abandoned mines.
  • The huge volumes of mine water – heated by geological processes to temperatures as high as 40˚C – could actually help power the UK’s shift to a zero-carbon economy.
  • The Coal Authority now has around thirty different projects.
  • there is an estimated 2.2 million GWh of annually renewing zero carbon geothermal energy held within the mines.
  • Heat can be extracted using boreholes, heat pumps and heat exchangers.
  • The mines can be used to store energy as waste heat.
  • I particularly liked the use of a mine shaft as a thermal flask, which is being developed at Shawfair in Scotland.

The article then talks about Gravitricity.

This is an extract.

According to Gravitricity project development manager Chris Yendell, the potential for the technology is huge.

Research carried out for the company by KPMG identified 60,000 vertical shafts of 200m or greater in Germany alone. Indeed, many of these shafts as deep as 1000m. Meanwhile, following discussions with the Coal Authority, the team believes that in the UK there are at least 100 potentially viable deep vertical mineshafts. “Based on that you could look at a future portfolio in the UK of 2.4GWh of capacity, based on a 10MW peak system with a capacity of 24MWh” said Yendell.

The article finishes on an optimistic note, by outlining how in the former mining areas, there is lots of expertise to maintain and run these new green energy systems, that will replace coal’s black hole.

Conclusion

Coal could be the future! But not as we know it!

September 4, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Work Underway On Gravitricity Storage Demo

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on renews.biz.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Winch specialists Huisman have begun on the fabrication of Gravitricity’s €1.1m energy storage demonstrator, which is due for trial in Edinburgh early next year.

The article also gives a few details of the system.

  • It uses a 16 metre lattice tower.
  • Two twenty-five tonne weights are raised and lowered.
  • An output of 250 kW is quoted.

Unless they are using a deep hole to increase the height, Omni’s Potential Energy Calculator says that the stored energy is only 2.18 kWh.

So it will only supply 250 kW for about half a minute.

But as it’s a demo, that is probably enough to validate the concept.

Coal mines with shafts around a thousand metres deep are not unknown in the UK and a system with two twenty-five tonne weights would be able to store a very useful 136 kWh.

But that is still very small compared to Highview Power‘s liquid air battery being build in Manchester, that I wrote about in Climate Emission Killer: Construction Begins On World’s Biggest Liquid Air Battery. That battery has these characteristics.

  • The size of the battery is 250 MWh.
  • It can delivery up to 50 MW of power. which translates to five hours at full power, if the battery is full.
  • If it was already working, it would be the ninth biggest battery of all types, except for pumped storage, in the world.
  • It will be double the size of the largest chemical battery, which was built by Tesla in South Australia.

Both Gravitricity and Highview Power technologies are being backed by the UK government.

Conclusion

I don’t believe that the two battery systems will compete directly.

In terms of size in Explaining Gravitricity, I state that in the UK, 2.2 MWh of storage might be possible for Gravitricity. This is very small compared with Highview Power’s 250 MWh in Manchester.

I suspect though, that capital and running costs may well be in Gravitricity’s favour and the system will be ideal for some applications, where space is limited.

Gravitricity’s systems may also be an innovative way of capping dangerous mine shafts.

August 31, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | 3 Comments

Government Funding For Lithium Recovery From Geothermal At United Downs Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Think Geoenergy.

This is the sub heading.

A demonstration project to produce Lithium from geothermal brines at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Project in Cornwall, UK has received government funding.

This is certainly, an idea to watch.

The company behind the project is Cornish Lithium, that I wrote about in How To Go Mining In A Museum.

August 6, 2020 Posted by | Energy | , , , | Leave a comment