A new way to generate and store Energy on a large scale they are testing researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) which is a research center that advances systems analysis and applies its methods to identify policy solutions to reduce the human footprint.
IIASA researchers have come up with a new energy storage concept that could turn tall buildings into batteries to improve power quality in urban settings.
In their study published in the journal Energy, IIASA researchers propose a new gravity-based storage solution that uses elevators and empty apartments in high-rise buildings to store energy. This original idea, which the authors call Lift Energy Storage Technology (LEST), stores energy by lifting containers of wet sand or other high-density materials, which are remotely transported in and out of an elevator with autonomous towing devices. LEST is an interesting option, because the elevators are already installed in high-rise buildings, which means that there is no need for additional investment or space occupation, but rather using what is already there in a different way to create additional value. for the power grid and the building owner.
“I have always been fascinated by topics related to potential energy, in other words power generation with changes in altitude, such as hydropower, pumped storage, buoyancy and gravity energy storage. The concept of gravity energy storage has also recently received significant attention in the scientific community and startups. The concept of LEST came to me after having spent a considerable amount of time going up and down in an elevator since I recently moved into a 14th-floor apartment,” explains lead author Julian Hunt, a researcher with the Systems Research Group. of IIASA Sustainable Services.
The main details to look at now are: finding space to store the weights the system relies on at the top of the building when the system is fully loaded, and at the bottom of the building when the system is unloaded. Empty apartments or hallways could be viable options in this regard.
Another consideration is the load-bearing capacity of the roof of the existing buildings where the system is installed, that is, the total mass in kilograms per square meter that the roof can support without collapsing.