A growing number of energy storage start-ups are promoting the idea that the most economical, most expedient ways to store power revolves around harnessing the four elements of the ancient world: earth, air, water and fire.
Energy Cache, for instance, is developing a system that resembles a ski lift for gravel. Gravel is ferried uphill during the day by a series of buckets, and then dropped during peak power hours. The system essentially provides the drop in elevation nature left out.
An Energy Cache system could be erected at a large number of abandoned mining sites, where there is plenty of gravel and an existing grid connection, […] Along with the physics, the company is analyzing algorithms to ensure smooth power deliver on demand for the power grid. …
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