Skyscrapers as Giant Gravity Batteries

NewAtlas

Oct 21, 2022

Surplus renewable energy can be stored in the form of potential energy by lifting heavy objects to a great height during elevator downtime. When these objects are released the force of gravity can be harnessed to drive a generator that produces electricity.

The skyline of many metropolitan cities of today is dotted with high rise buildings and skyscrapers. But have you ever wondered how these skyscrapers can contribute to solving the energy crisis? A revolutionary system dubbed the lift energy storage system can turn skyscrapers into giant gravity batteries. 


The way this system would function is straightforward - Surplus renewable energy can be stored in the form of potential energy by lifting heavy objects to a great height during elevator downtime. When these objects are released the force of gravity can be harnessed to drive a generator that produces electricity. The advantage of this system is that it can use pre-existing elevator systems in skyscrapers and wouldn’t need any additional infrastructure. Many elevators are already designed with regenerative braking systems to harvest this energy. Additionally, AI and autonomous robots can be employed for the towing of weights in and out of elevators, and to make decisions when to run the lift, ensuring the regular usage of the elevator by building tenants isn’t hampered.  


When the wind blows, the sun shines down, and the ocean waves roll, there is surplus green energy available. But when skies darken and conditions are calm, what do we do? Inexpensive, sustainable and easy to use battery storage technology will be at the crux of this issue. Gravity batteries are mechanical contraptions and any problems encountered in the system are easily repairable. On the other hand, electrochemical batteries such as the most prevalent lithium ion storage solutions degrade over time and are problematic to dispose of. 


Many initiatives and measures such as the above are crucial in making our electric grid more robust and reliable. How many of these will come to fruition, it's impossible to tell. What isn't in doubt is that the world needs bold and creative climate solutions. While we wait for cutting edge solutions to come online, why not make the most of the energy we have available? FORCE saves over 10-15% of the power you already consume, making it lighter on your wallet and on the environment.