Gravitricity has to date built one functioning commercial-scale demonstrator. Image: Gravitricity.
Gravitricity has to date built one functioning commercial-scale demonstrator. Image: Gravitricity.

ABB and Gravitricity have signed an agreement to explore how ABB can utilise its expertise with hoisting equipment for gravity storage.

Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, Gravitricity has to date built one functioning commercial-scale demonstrator, a 250kW project near its offices which uses two 25-tonne weights and went into operation in 2021.

The company claims its technology GraviStore is suitable for both short-duration, high power energy storage applications and long-duration, high energy applications. By using existing or new mine shafts dug into the ground, the amount of land needed at surface area is limited and Gravitricity claims GraviStore has an expected 50-year operational lifetime with no degradation or limits to cycle life.

ABB has deployed mine hoists at more than 1,000 sites globally and the company will make R&D, design and engineering teams available to collaborate with the startup on design, engineering and operations of mine hoists and the associated mechanical, electrical and control technologies required for hoisting.

The pair will work on feasibility studies for applying existing hoisting technologies to gravity storage, with Gravitricity’s own experts contributing knowledge of grid compliance and control systems. ABB meanwhile will also work to identify suitable sites for GraviStore facilities.

Gravitricity has to date been in discussions for potential projects in Czechia, the US and Germany, while the UK government granted the company some funding to investigate sites for a possible demonstration project in India. The company expects a typical project site to be around 20MWh storage capacity.

This article first appeared on Solar Power Portal’s sister publication

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