Fabrication begins on Gravitricity’s £1 million trial energy storage demonstrator

Winch specialist Huisman has now begun creating the gravity-based equipment, which will be trialled early next year in Edinburgh, Scotland

Fabrication has begun on Gravitricity’s £1 million energy storage demonstrator in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Winch specialist Huisman has begun creating the equipment, which will be trialled early next year, at the firm’s specialist factory in the Czech Republic.

The technology is expected to be completed in December, at which point the custom-built winches and control system will be shipped from Rotterdam to the Port of Leith.

The 250kW demonstrator’s lattice tower will be fabricated by Leicester engineering specialists Kelvin Power at the same time, before the entire structure is assembled at the grid-connected site for testing to begin in spring 2021.

More than £1.5 million of the necessary funding was raised through crowdfunding, which was supported by a £640,000 grant from Innovate UK.

Lead Engineer Miles Franklin said: “Our demonstrator will use two 25-tonnes weights suspended by steel cables. In one test we’ll drop the weights together to generate full power and verify our speed of response. We calculate we can go from zero to full power in less than a second – which can be extremely valuable in the frequency response and back-up power markets.

“We’ll then run tests with the two single weights, dropping one after the other to verify smooth energy output over a longer period, alongside a programme of other tests to demonstrate and refine the full capabilities of the system. This two-month test programme will confirm our modelling and give us valuable data for our first full-scale 4MW project which will commence in 2021.”

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