First Commercial Energy Storage Tower

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Minister of Fire
Hearth Supporter
Jul 11, 2008
Northern NH

It will be interesting to hear the front end capital cost and long term payback. Eighty percent wire to wire is not too shabby. It is also relatively low tech so is a good way to utilize existing workforce.

Pumped hydro comes up quite often but its hard to justify environmentally due to footprint and also the issue that the storage sites are usually long way from the demand so hihg line losses. These towers can go on brownfield sites near the point of demand.
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From the link:

"The tower is controlled by computer systems and machine vision software that orchestrate the charging and discharging cycles. A range of storage durations from two to 12 hours or longer is achievable, said the company. This first commercial installation in China will use a 4-hour duration."

I'm confused by what they mean by "storage duration". It seems like storage time would be basically infinite since there are no storage losses that I can see. Perhaps they're referring to the amount of storage capacity versus grid demand and wind generation capacity?
From the rating 25MW / 100Mw hrs. I take that the storage potential is 100MW hours and they vary the output based on how many blocks per minute they can move.

I’d like some hard numbers. How quickly can they change output? 25MW is how many wind turbines 3-5? How quickly can they raise the block?
I assume that is just the discharge time. The generator is sized to output the stored energy in some minimum time.
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These towers can go on brownfield sites near the point of demand.
I would think that the underlying geology would be key. How much is the weight of that amount of cement and water a factor?
Sorry, local bias, Dig down a short distance in New England and ledge is probably found ;em
I don’t have a good sense of scale for these gravity batteries. I know how big a .3kw solar panel is, a 3Mw wind turbine, a 100kwh Li battery pack. If I get a quiet moment tomorrow all work out some numbers for car sized blocks of concrete. My guess is they don’t move very fast.