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How ARES uses gravity to store energy

Week 69.0 — 18th February '19

ARES, or Advanced Rail Energy Storage System, is a California based company that has found a way to take advantage of nature and store energy (renewable) by technically using it and then retrieving it through gravity. I'd seen the video below some time ago but as it was all CGI it looked more theory than reality but it's being put into practice and was covered by the BBC for their Click program.

ARES' technology uses heavy rail cars that are pushed to the top of a grade using excess power from renewable energy plants or when electricity demand is low. Then, when the wind drops, the sun stops shining, or electricity demand rises, the rail cars are released back down the hill, generating electricity through regenerative braking.

It's always fascinating to see solutions for problems you hadn't really thought about. Renewable energy might be infinite, but you're limited by it's immediate availability and current demand. You can't get sunlight at night and the wind isn't always blowing. Being able to store the energy in batteries is a problem Tesla have looked to solve and it's not that long since Germany saw negative energy prices for the first time.

While not everyone believes in climate change, it's real and we're seeing the effects now. Miami is literally drowning and the world is getting hotter. Many of the things we use daily require batteries and while they are reusable the materials are not going to be infinite. The ARES system may not be perfect but it's both interesting and different. Every little is going to help.

You can watch BBC Click's coverage below.

If you're interested, you can find more videos and information on their website.

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Notable

Quick links and commentary on interesting articles, videos and more throughout the week.

  1. 69.2 – Tuesday
    1. Strange Planet: b u s i n e s s nathanwpyle on reddit.com
    2. Conviction - An Anthem trailer Oats Studio on youtube.com
    3. Arrested Development returns March 15th @arresteddevelopment on twitter.com
  2. 69.3 – Wednesday
    1. Fisheye lens with 270 degree field of view popsci.com
  3. 69.4 – Thursday
    1. DO IT neon light   €1,750 @hensteethstore on instagram.com
    2. The Moon created from 50,000 images ajamesmccarthy on reddit.com
    3. The Highwaymen trailer Netflix on youtube.com
    4. New Balance open a pub where you pay for pints with miles run coolmaterial.com
  4. 69.5 – Friday
    1. Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone   $1980 samsung.com
    2. New identity for Paris underconsideration.com
    3. A tipping point on climate change axios.com
    4. How To   £14.95 $ Randall Munroe on amazon.co.uk
  5. 69.6 – Saturday
    1. The ancient Hawaiian art of bark cloth Great Big Story on youtube.com
    2. A detailed map of medieval trade routes in Europe, Asia, and Africa kottke.org
    3. Instagram is an engagement powerhouse axios.com
  6. 69.7 – Sunday
    1. U.K. Parliament report calls Facebook 'digital gangsters' axios.com
    2. WorldWideWeb daringfireball.net
    3. Louis Theroux: The Night in Question trailer BBC on youtube.com

Jump to notable items for Week #68, Week #70 , view the notable archive or my favourites.

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