Redflow Limited, a publicly-listed Australian company (ASX: RFX), produces small 10kWh zinc-bromine flow batteries that tolerate daily hard work in harsh conditions. Marketed as ZCell and ZBM2, Redflow batteries are designed for high cycle-rate, long time-base stationary energy storage applications in the residential, commercial & industrial and telecommunications sectors, and are scalable from a single battery installation through to grid-scale deployments. Redflow batteries are sold, installed and maintained by an international network of energy system integrators. Redflow’s smart, self-protecting batteries offer unique advantages including secure remote management, 100 per cent daily depth of discharge, tolerance of high ambient temperatures, a simple recycling path, no propensity for thermal runaway and sustained energy delivery throughout their operating life.
Redflow’s latest partner, Darwin-based Delta Electrics, believes that zinc-bromine flow batteries are ideally suited to deliver energy storage in the hot, demanding conditions of the Top End.
Founded in 1969, Delta Electrics is a leading supplier of power-related products and services to some of the largest organisations operating in the Northern Territory including Power Water, Territory Generation, the Australian Department of Defence, Telstra, McArthur River Mining/Xstrata and Energy Resources Australia. Delta's client base spans an extensive range of industry sectors such as telecommunications, power utilities, agriculture, local councils and remote Aboriginal communities.
Delta Electrics General Manager Andrew Boller said the Northern Territory was increasingly seeking the benefits of new-generation batteries. “With years of experience with batteries, Delta Electrics understands the challenges and limitations of working with lithium-based battery chemistries within the NT: Unless they are installed in an air-conditioned environment. the operating temperatures of lithium batteries are always in the high 30s or more, which can significantly impact their life,” he said.
Australian energy storage company Redflow Limited (ASX: RFX) has received a subsequent order for its ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries for deployment by New Zealand’s Rural Connectivity Group (RCG).
Redflow, which supplied an initial eight batteries for use by RCG in November 2019, has received a follow on order for an additional 10 batteries for installation at two new off-grid RCG telecommunications transmission towers in the North Island of New Zealand. Local RCG partner Switchboard Services has placed the order and will undertake ZBM2 installation works. This repeat order follows the successful installation and commissioning of Redflow’s ZBM2 batteries at two RCG towers late last year.
Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris said this order for ZBM2 batteries at further RCG sites demonstrated the benefits that Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow battery technology delivered to telecommunications companies. “These benefits include long-life performance, heat-tolerance and theft-resistance,” he said.
Swansea University, a research-led British university, has purchased Redflow’s unique ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow battery technology as the energy storage backbone for its Active Building demonstrator -– an award-winning classroom that generates, stores and releases solar energy at the point of use.
The microgrid is built around 120 kWh of Redflow batteries and is supplied with building-integrated, thin-film photovoltaic solar panels, as well as a solar wall that supplies the warm air to a heat-pump for space and water heating. Since being built, the classroom has proven the Active Buildings concept by generating more energy than it has used over an annual cycle, and during high solar summer months, the system will return power to the local electricity grid.
Redflow’s small 10 kWh flow battery units provided the only commercially available flow battery energy storage system that allowed accurate sizing for the 120 kWh system. Additionally, the Redflow battery operates “out of the box” with the Victron inverters and controllers that provide the power conversion for the Swansea University minigrid.
Tom Griffiths, Technology Transfer Fellow (Smart Systems), said Swansea selected the Redflow technology because of its ability to deliver 100% of the rated system energy every day, without degradation in capacity over a long – 10 year – life. “These characteristics were crucial considerations for us, and our application requires battery discharge duration of 4-8 hours depending on the time of year, making Redflow’s flow battery the ideal fit for our requirements in comparison to more conventional lead-acid or lithium alternatives.”