Australian designed ZCell home battery storage system to be available by midyear

Source: Featured in Daily Telegraph Wednesday 30/03/2016

An Australian-designed solar storage battery partly built in Adelaide will available for householders to buy from the middle of the year.

Redflow, a company backed by Adelaide entrepreneur Simon Hackett, today announced the release of its ZCell battery, which will compete with products such as the much-hyped Tesla Power Wall.

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Redflow believes its battery technology is much better however, allowing for 100 per cent discharge of the battery every day, and has backed the product with a 10 year warranty.

The system will cost $17,500-$19,500 for a 10kwh battery, suitable for many households, with that price including the cost of installation, wiring and inverters.

This will allow for use of stored solar power at night, or for peak demand periods and support off-grid systems if people wanted to go down that track.

As a comparison, one installer in Australia is offering a 4kW solar system with the 7 kWh Tesla Powerwall integrated using a Fronius hybrid inverter for around $13,990 (GST inclusive and fully installed), with added meter costs. The installed cost using a 5kW solar system is $14,990.

Mr Hackett said battery storage was where solar panels were 15 years ago and he expected that the market was large enough for companies such as Redflow and Tesla to both gain a large piece of the pie.

The Redflow ZBM2 flow battery. is built in the US, with the battery management system and battery enclosure to be made in Adelaide, at least initially.

Mr Hackett said the Redflow battery was “genuinely a better technical choice” than the lithium-ion batteries used by its competitors.

“ZCell breaks many of the rules that apply to legacy batteries, making it ideal for the home market,” he said.

“ZCell lets you discharge 100 per cent of its total stored energy every day, whereas other battery types can require a significant amount of their underlying storage capacity to be locked out to prevent battery damage and to extend battery life.

“ZCell is a unique flow battery that loves to be fully charged and discharged daily.”

The battery is warranted to deliver 10 kWh of stored energy each day for as long as 10 years and is primarily made of plastic, aluminium and steel, elements that are easily recycled, while its fluid electrolyte can be reused or repurposed.

Redflow expects Australian residential installations to start mid year with a $1000 introductory rebate offer for eligible Redflow shareholders.

Redflow also said yesterday its rights issue to existing shareholders closed significantly oversubscribed, raising about $5.56 million.

The company said valid applications totalled about $13.4 million, resulting in an oversubscription of about $7.8 million.

Shareholders who applied will receive their full entitlement of shares, but there will be a scale back of additional new shares shareholders could also apply for.

The shares, issued at 23c, will be allotted on April 1.

Redflow shares closed 3c lower at 41c yesterday.