Company Name: Gravitricity Ltd
Headcount: Three people
Profile: Gravitricity Ltd was founded by Charlie Blair, Peter Fraenkel, and Martin Wright.
Charlie, who is the Managing Director, worked in energy technology innovation for over 15 years with the Carbon Trust and Peter and Martin founded Marine Current Turbines Ltd (among other companies) which successfully developed by far the most productive and successful tidal turbine to-date (called SeaGen) and which was bought by Siemens in 2012. At present these three founders are also the Board.
The company so far has just three employees and the Lead Engineer is Miles Franklin formerly a design engineer with Dyson. A number of consultants have worked alongside this small team to make specialised inputs. The University of Edinburgh is also involved.
The company's patented technology is based on a simple principle: raising and lowering a heavy weight to store energy. In practice, it has similar advantages to pumped storage for networks up to 33kV, without the need for a nearby mountain with a lake or loch at the top.
As the world generates more and more electricity from intermittent renewable energy sources, there is a growing need for technologies which can capture and store energy during periods of low demand and release it rapidly when required. Gravitricity is working to develop a novel storage technology which offers some of the best characteristics of lithium batteries and pumped storage.
The business model involves developing a consortium of industrial partners all of whom can benefit from the success of Gravitricity by making up key elements of the supply chain. This process is underway and a number of major companies and some smaller ones are already involved, including Huisman a world leading winch manufacturer, Vinci Energie one of the world's largest EPC contractors, and discussions are in hand with several other potential partners.