Australian energy storage specialist Redflow Ltd is successfully selling its batteries in Asian countries where telecommunications have leap-frogged copper lines into wireless telephony and broadband.
Many Asian nations have jumped straight to cellular network-based phone and Internet services because they lack the copper-based communication networks that exist in countries like Australia.
As a result, Redflow is pursuing a massive potential demand in Asia for its zinc-bromine flow batteries to power mobile telecommunication towers located in areas without reliable electricity supplies.
ASX-listed Redflow, which has offices in Brisbane and Adelaide, where CEO Simon Hackett is based, is an energy storage specialist that has developed the world’s smallest zinc-bromine flow batteries (learn more at www.redflow.com).
Redflow’s 48-volt 10 kilowatt hour (kWh) flow batteries solve many of the problems that impact the region’s telecommunications providers, including the ability to operate in hot conditions without active cooling; 100 per cent depth of discharge on a daily basis; long-term storage at any state of charge, from empty to full, without damaging the battery; and construction materials with minimal resale value, making them less attractive to thieves.
Redflow’s Global Sales Director Andrew Kempster, who is based in Adelaide, said growth in Asia was based on solid relationships. “We currently support integration partners in India, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines who have sold small systems so telecommunication companies can evaluate our batteries in the field,” he said.
“This is a huge opportunity for us. A country like Indonesia has something like 85,000 telecom towers, many of which require battery backup because of unreliable electricity supplies.
“We recognise that selling successfully in Asia provides some unique challenges that require local knowledge and a lot of patience. Redflow has a senior sales executive with on-the-ground experience working in Indonesia who has helped us to engage successfully with partners in the region.
“A key to Asia is patience. If you rush, you put yourself in the hands of the wrong partners. Success comes from finding a good partner and developing that relationship on a personal and a corporate level. It’s about recognising what they want from the partnership, which is often more than just sales.
“Also, in the major cities, the early bird does not just get the worm, it also beats the traffic. A 20-minute taxi ride can take hours depending on the time of day and the weather if it’s raining, so preparation pays off.”
Redflow has also benefitted from attending regional events such as the Tower Xchange conference, held in Singapore. The annual event attracts attendees from around the region, which has repeatedly introduced Redflow to senior executives from large Asian companies.
Mr Kempster said selling in the region could also produce some surprises. “For example, the CEO of a large telco once asked me ‘how much does your battery weigh?’” he recalled.
“Not sure if the right answer was ‘heavy’ or ‘light’, I tentatively replied ‘240kg’ while expecting him to say ‘that’s too heavy!’ His response surprised me. ‘Great,’ he said, ‘it won’t get stolen’.
“This CEO loved our Redflow battery because its robustness, weight and unique construction materials are an advantage in his market segment.”
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About Redflow www.redflow.com
Redflow Limited is an energy storage specialist that has developed the world’s smallest zinc-bromine flow batteries. Redflow’s unique flow batteries are designed for stationary energy storage applications ranging from its ZCell home solution to its ZBM2 batteries for industrial, telecommunications and grid-scale deployment. Redflow is a publicly-listed company (ASX: RFX) that operates R&D facilities in Australia, as well as offices in the US and Europe. Produced in North America by Flex, one of the world’s largest supply chain solution companies, Redflow batteries are sold, installed and maintained by a global network of system integrators.
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