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

Proudly South African Hydrogen Breakthrough With Shell’s Backing

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly.

This is the introductory paragraph.

At this time of huge coronavirus uncertainty, the chests of a group of engineers here must surely be bulging with pride following their major Proudly South African world breakthrough that could speed up the global deployment of hydrogen as a competitive universal and environment-friendly energy carrier.

I think it got a bit jumbled in the typing.

Reading the article it does seem that various developments are coming together in South Africa.

  • A much simple electrolyser to produce hydrogen.
  • South Africa’s platinum for catalysts.
  • Large amounts of renewable energy.

The aim is to produce hydrogen at a comparable price with petrol.

This paragraph stands out.

South Africa has the combined solar and wind potential to produce competitive hydrogen, which can meet the world’s new environmental requirements.

The article talks about exporting hydrogen to Japan.

Conclusion

South Africa is a country that needs all the good news it can get.

This looks like it could be some of the best.

But how many other hot countries can take advantage of what looks like a breakthrough in the electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen for a fuel?

March 31, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , | 2 Comments

The Three Smallest Books In The World

In the 1970s, when we were on holiday in Crete, a South African, who was probably Jewish told me a joke about the three smallest books in the world.

They were.

  • The Biafran cookbook.
  • The Israeli book of Arab human rights.
  • The Afrikaans book of humour and culture.

Politically incorrect they may be, but what would the three books be today?

  • The Yemeni cookbook.
  • The Middle East book of human rights.
  • Donald Trump’s book of courtesy and sense.

Technology and wealth may have progressed in the last forty years, but some things only change for the worse!

November 24, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Gravitricity Sets Sights On South Africa To Test Green Energy Tech

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on ESI Africa, which describes itself as Africa’s Power Journal.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Disused mine shafts in South Africa have been identified as an ideal location to test UK-based energy start-up Gravitricity’s green energy technology.

The company announced plans to transform disused mine shafts into hi-tech green energy generation facilities through a system that uses gravity and massive weights.

This is surely a classic fit, as Africa has plenty of sun and some of the mine shafts in South Africa, like the TauTona mine are getting towards two miles deep.

A weight of 1,000 tonnes in a two mile deep shaft would store nearly nine MWh. By comparison, Dinorwig Power Station or Electric Mountain, has a capacity of 500 MWh.

But Electric Mountain was built in the 1970s, cost £425 million and took ten years to construct.

 

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, World | , , | Leave a comment

I’m Suffering From Mandela Fatigue

No matter what you thought of him and I liked him, the obsessive media coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela is now boring me stiff.

It was the same with Princess Diana’s tragic death.  We were on holiday at the time of the funeral in Northumberland and I deliberately chose to go and sit on the beach by myself on Holy Island, to get away from it all.

Death is a personal thing and we all have our own ways of coping with grief.

I just get on with life, as there is no other positive thing to do.

I shall go for a walk by the river, have some lunch and then bring my shopping home and watch the football all afternoon.

I dread to think what fuss, we’re going to see, when some of the great and good of this world die.  They’ll all be out to outdo South Africa’s borefest for Mandela.

December 15, 2013 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Jury Trials In South Africa

I was just listening to reports of the Oscar Pistorius case on the radio and was surprised to hear that there are no jury trials in South Africa. This explains, why much of the evidence against the athlete has been fully discussed in the media, as the case will be decided by a magistrate.

There’s more about juries in South Africa here. Juries were abolished in 1969, in the apartheid era.

February 18, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Not Too Cold For The Penguins

I had gone to the London Zoo to see their penguins.

Surely, the Penguin Beach must be one of the best wild animal displays in the United Kingdom. The heron in one picture is a wild cheeky visitor according to this article in the Mail.

Although, I’m generally against a lot of wild animal displays, this one is rather different, in that a good proportion of the penguins were actually bred in the Zoo.

I’ve actually seen penguins in the wild twice; in the Galapagos Islands and South Africa. It has always surprised me that so many people go to Cape Town on holiday and never check out the penguins, that live all over that coast.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Yorkshire Would Be Eleventh In The Medal Table

Yorkshire Radio reporter, Jonathan Buchan calculated yesterday, that Britain’s largest county, Yorkshire would be eleventh in the Olympic medal table above Japan, South Africa and Australia.  Since then the Brownlee brothers have won a gold and a bronze medal, so they must have moved up a bit.

If they get a couple more, they might just edge above Germany. They’re probably well above Prussia already!

August 7, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , | 2 Comments

The Dominions Stick Together

In some ways it’s one of the best pieces of news for Africa in a long time, but the decision of the SKA organisation to site their new radio telescope in remote parts of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, is to be welcomed. The details are here on the BBC’s web site.

Milton Nkosi from the BBC says this about the project.

This decision will help to change the perception that Africa is a dark continent full of death and destruction and where little scientific research is carried out.

The telescope will deliver thousands of jobs and will showcase South Africa’s rich history in astronomy.

The SKA will have 3,000 antennas across a vast semi-desert part of South Africa known as the Karoo. The site is already home to seven massive Gregorian dish antennas that form part of the Karoo Array Telescope, or Kat7.

The only thing history tells us about it, is that the project will get bigger. And it will be joined by other large instruments.

May 25, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , , | 2 Comments

Saving Fish With Flies

A large amount of the fish caught in the sea ends up as animal feed.  The Sunday Times reports how in South Africa, a process has been developed to create chicken feed from maggots fed on blood from abattoirs.  Sounds gruesome!

But if it means we take less fish from the sea to feed animals, it’s surely better.

May 13, 2012 Posted by | Business, Food, News | , , , | Comments Off on Saving Fish With Flies