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King Saud University Mohammed A. Al-Khamis, a researcher with the Saudi Electricity Company Chair in Power System Reliability and Security, recently received a United States Patent for his invention titled, “Method and Apparatus for Storing Energy.” This invention was previously patented with both the Gulf Cooperation Council Patent Office (2011) and the European Patent Office (2012).
The goal of this invention is to successively arrange weights in a way to store electrical energy as potential or latent energy by lifting the weights to an artificial or natural elevated point. Then, when needed, the weights are allowed to slide back down to generate turbines, recovering the stored energy and convert it back to electrical energy to operate electric generators.
The invention’s basic concept, making it different from previous inventions or technologies, is the use of the weights as the storage medium and not water, which would require collection in a very large artificial tank to acquire the potential energy. This invention has great potential, especially as an alternative for the Kingdom’s desert regions where water is scarce.
Dr. Khalid Al-Saleh, Director of KSU’s Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing program, stated that this invention could significantly reduce power station overloads during high consumption periods by recovering and providing the energy that had previously been stored.