Redflow flow batteries can be integrated with smart grids and microgrids for better control of energy storage and distribution during peak consumption times.
Smart grid is a term given to the modernisation of electricity networks. These grids allow utilities to access more information and provide better demand management.
As society’s need for electricity increases, utilities must learn to cater to this demand. Currently, however, limited one-way interaction makes it difficult for the grid to cope with escalating power needs.
A smart grid is a contemporary solution to this issue. It collects user information such as consumption habits and uses this to deliver a more reliable supply of electricity. This technology opens up a two-way interchange, where electricity from utilities and information from consumers can be exchanged.
By connecting communication, controls, computers and new technologies together, a smart grid also makes electricity supply more efficient, secure and environmentally friendly.
Energy storage systems play an important role in a smart grid by allowing utilities to manage residential, industrial and commercial peak demand in a cost-effective manner. Our ZBM zinc-bromide flow batteries are used by a number of utilities for this purpose.
Redflow ZBM flow batteries provide:
- Energy storage during generation, transmission and distribution
- Ancillary support
- Energy storage for varying scales of electricity generation
- Electricity buffer, at both residential and community levels
This type of energy storage is generating significant interest because of its capacity to reduce electricity bills and aid in the deferment of timely and costly electricity infrastructure upgrades.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of ZBM integration with a smart grid, we took part in the Smart Grid, Smart City trial in Australia. This saw us design, install and operate 60 R510 electricity storage systems at different dwellings across New South Wales.
The trial found this type of energy storage to be an effective way of reducing peak demand and supporting voltage fluctuations.
A microgrid is a localised grouping of distributed electricity sources, loads and storage mechanisms that can operate both as part of the central grid or independently as an island.
A key requirement of a microgrid is to provide a seamless supply of local electricity through improved reliability and security of power. In these grids, energy storage can be used to manage fluctuations and separate generation and consumption.
Using flow battery energy storage in micogrids offers several benefits to both utilities and their consumers.
Microgrid energy storage advantages at the utility level:
- Renewable smoothing/firming: maintaining a smooth transition between power sources when renewable power generation is either ramping up or down.
- Grid services: ancillary, frequency regulation and voltage control.
Microgrid energy storage advantages at the consumer level:
- Peak shaving: reducing the amount of electricity purchased during evening peak hours when demand charges are highest.
- Energy shifting: transferring excess energy from one timeslot to another, such as moving solar produced at midday to the evening peak.
- Demand response: responding to utility incentives to reduce demands on the grid during specified periods.
Our ZBM flow batteries are an effective source of multi-hour energy storage for microgrids. With the functionality of grid backup, supply during grid outages and peak shaving is achievable. ZBM energy storage systems support the grid by reducing peak demand and maintaining a consistent supply to the consumer.
Case study: Smart Grid, Smart City R510