Energy storage for the near future is a big ask. However, a startup in the US has managed to get itself a massive investment for pursuing power storage. The idea is bold; it would use giant hanging bricks and drop them when more power is needed.
The start-up Energy Vault announced that it had raised $100 million in a Series C funding. The company will use the money to help deploy its brick-dropping platform across the US, Middle East, Europe, and Australia.
This is a ground-breaking idea in the history of energy storage, and the way it works is quite simple: 35-metric ton bricks are lifted to a 35-story tower. During low energy requirements, the bricks are raised up the tower using excess energy. When energy requirements are relatively high, the bricks are dropped to the ground, and the kinetic energy is captured in a generator that can be used on a strained power grid.
Energy Vault has developed gravity and kinetic energy-based, long-duration energy storage solutions inspired by pumped hydro plants that rely on gravity and the movement of water to generate power. It is a greener way to store extra energy for times when demand is high such as the mornings and evenings.
The company completed the commercial-scale deployment of the energy storage system in 2020 and launched its new platform, EVx, in April. It features a modular design that stores energy for short power durations (two to four hours) or longer durations (five to 24 hours). The capital worth $100 million raised will support the company’s growth and deploy EVx on a global scale.
At first glance, the brick-dropping platform is looked upon as more of a trick than anything else. Nevertheless, if this ingenious idea materializes as planned, it will be a ground-breaking option to store energy.
This story has been modified to clarify that Energy Vault’s system stores energy and doesn’t generate it.