Skyscraper elevators can become energy accumulators an amazing invention

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers have proposed turning skyscrapers into giant gravitational batteries for surprisingly cheap renewable energy storage.

What if the elevators in our myriad of skyscrapers could be energy storage? According to calculations, it is quite cheap and effective.

The concept is simple enough: excess renewable energy can be stored as potential energy by lifting something heavy to a higher point.

This energy can then be released using gravity to drive some kind of generator. Researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria, looked at the height and location of the skyscrapers and saw a huge amount of ready-made energy storage in them.

How skyscraper elevators can store electricity

Elevator Energy Storage Elevator (LEFT) will use existing elevator systems in high-rise buildings. Many already include regenerative braking systems that can harvest energy as the elevator descends, so they can be thought of as pre-installed power generators.

The LEFT will also use free spaces throughout the building, ideally close to the top and bottom. Thus, it would be surprisingly cheap to create such a system in existing buildings than to build gravity batteries anywhere.

Essentially, LEFT will take advantage of any elevator downtime by moving heavy items – such as large containers of wet sand – from the bottom of the building to the top when excess renewable energy is available, and from the top to the bottom when that energy can be used or sold back into the grid.

The IIASA team proposed a series of autonomous trailer robots for the job of picking up loads and hauling them in and out of elevators where it makes sense.

They can be stored either along corridors, or in empty apartments or offices, or in specially designated areas if the building is planned with this system in mind – for example, in a spare floor near the top or bottom of the building. The efficiency of this system, according to calculations, can be about 92 percent.


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