The Energy Vault Commercial Demonstration Unit (CDU) combines innovative design, advanced materials science, and proprietary machine-vision software to lift and lower composite bricks and orchestrate the storage and dispatch of electrical power. In July of 2020, Energy Vault completed mechanical construction of the first of its kind, grid-scale CDU located in Switzerland (Ticino). This commercial scale system is part of Energy Vault’s technology roadmap that follows the 1:4 scale pilot system built and operated in 2018, where all core technology elements were tested and validated. The CDU is connected to the Swiss national utility grid and is being utilized for continued testing and software commissioning.


First Generation Design

A breakthrough in gravity and kinetic based energy storage, the Energy Vault’s CDU tower stores energy by lifting mobile masses into a tower where potential energy is stored in the elevation gain. The mobile masses are then returned to the ground and the kinetic energy generated from the controlled decline of the weight is turned back into electricity and dispatched to the grid.


Designed to be modular, flexible with plant capacity ranges of 20-35-80 MWh storage capacity and a 4-8MW of continuous power discharge for 8-16 hours.


Uniquely capable of utilizing waste materials to manufacture mobile masses, creating circular economic value and generating incremental revenue.


Proprietary system design with specially engineered control software ensures the bricks are placed in exactly the right location each time.



Applying conventional physics fundamentals of gravity and potential energy, the system combines an innovative crane design that lifts specially designed, massive composite bricks with a proprietary, cloud-based software platform that orchestrates the storage and discharge of electricity.


Proven Science​
Environmental Remediation Opportunity​
Best-In-Class Economics
Unmatched Performance​
fully-discharged charging-state fully-charged discharging-state fully-discharged



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Frequently asked questions

What is gravity storage?

  • Gravity storage refers to the use of energy to place objects at height that are then lowered under natural “gravitational” force to create physical movements which turn mechanical motors and create electricity that can be dispatched to the grid. Inspired by the widespread use of pumped hydro - where excess electricity pumps water up a dam and is then released to drive a turbine to create electricity - Energy Vault’s storage system relies on the elegant power of gravity to store and release kinetic energy.

How does the Energy Vault system work?

  • During periods when electricity generation from renewables exceeds the grid demand, Energy Vault utilizes this electricity to power Energy Vault’s proprietary crane system to lift composite bricks that are assembled and stacked by autonomous software; this is especially useful during periods of high renewable generation but low demand as is the case with solar PV.
  • When the bricks are stacked at height, the system is fully “charged”, with each of the bricks representing ~1MW of potential energy to be discharged when needed. When power is needed, the software orchestrates the sequential lowering of the bricks thus creating electricity through the kinetic energy released from weight turning large motors that generate and dispatch electrical energy.

What are the advantages of Energy Vault over chemical batteries?

  • Energy Vault has 5 key advantages over chemical batteries:
    • Energy Vault provides an economical advantage over chemical batteries and does not rely on uncertain future chemical roadmaps and future reductions in cost.
    • Energy Vault storage medium and mechanics fundamentally do not degrade over time.
    • Energy Vault’s sustainable production design uses of locally sourced materials, including the ability to use waste materials that would otherwise be landfilled. Chemical batteries are future landfill liabilities and are hazardous materials.
    • Energy Vault is immediately scalable due to developed and existing global supply chain ecosystem of large suppliers, local site assembly/fabrication and not competing for scarce resources (i.e. lithium ion).

Where can Energy Vault be deployed?

  • Energy Vault’s system is suitable to most industrial and non-urban or suburban locations. Locations will be primarily collocated with PV Solar, Wind and other industrial/manufacturing sites where larger structures and broad landscapes that are not densely populated are common.

What is most distinctive about Energy Vault’s technology?

  • Energy Vault delivers all of the sustainability and simplicity of pumped hydro storage with greater flexibility. Energy Vault can deliver all the benefits of a large scale pumped hydro storage system, but at a much lower levelized cost, higher roundtrip efficiency and without the requirement for specific land topography and negative environmental impacts. Most distinctive to Energy Vault’s solution is our unique approach to the circular economy which incorporates utilization of local industrial and energy waste (such as remunerated coal ash and recycled wind blades) converted to recyclable materials to build the system’s composite bricks.
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