The idea of using gravity to store energy is not new – pumped hydro storage systems can be found around the world. However such systems are reliant on very specific topography and can only be found at significant scale. The idea for Gravitricity’s energy storage system was developed by company founder and Technical Director Peter Fraenkel MBE.
Peter is a chartered mechanical engineer with a background in energy consultancy and technology R&D, and is also a visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh.
He recognised the potential to develop a simple system – based on weights and winches – which could be deployed initially in mines and then wherever required, and in 2011 filed the first patent for Gravitricity technology.
Around 2012 he teamed up with businessman and venture capitalist Martin Wright (with whom he had previously co-founded tidal energy pioneer Marine Current Turbines). Together they secured early grant funding, which enabled them to progress the idea.
Charlie Blair joined the venture as Managing Director in 2016 and shortly thereafter Gravitricity secured £650,000 from Innovate UK to design and build a concept demonstrator.
During 2021 Gravitricity successfully constructed, commissioned, and operated a 250kW, grid-connected demonstration project using a 15 metre high rig at the Port of Leith, Edinburgh. The three-month test programme confirmed our modelling and will give us valuable data for our first full-scale projects.
We are working with Dutch winch and offshore manufacturer Huisman Equipment BV and are developing an industrial consortium to take Gravitricity technology to market. Husiman have been involved closely in the fabrication of our 250kW scale demonstrator.
Huisman is a privately owned company operating globally with extensive experience in the design and manufacturing of heavy construction equipment for world’s leading on and offshore companies.
Huisman was originally founded in 1929 as a steel construction company and now has the capacity to develop products from concept to delivery. Their product range can be subdivided into four main categories: heavy lifting equipment, drilling equipment, pipelay equipment and mooring systems and varies from stand-alone components to highly engineered integrated systems.
Their operations are divided between offices in The Netherlands, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, and the USA with production facilities in The Netherlands, Czech Republic, and China.