Redflow’s ZCell now available for home use

Source: Featured in iTWire Wednesday 30/03/2016

Redflow Executive Chairman Simon Hackett says, “ZCell breaks many of the rules that apply to legacy batteries, making it ideal for the home market.”

Australian battery innovator Redflow has launched its first residential energy storage solution – Zcell – a breakthrough system that includes a battery made from easily recyclable or reusable components.

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BY Angela Macdonald-Smith

ZCell can store 10-kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy, allowing people to ‘time shift’ solar power from day to night, store off-peak power for peak demand periods, and support off-grid systems.

ZCell lets you discharge 100% of its total stored energy every day – 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.

“ZCell is warranted to deliver its full ten kWh of stored energy each day for as long as ten years. During that period, lead acid and lithium batteries can lose a significant portion of their storage capacity. Importantly, ZCell enables you to reduce your carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuel-generated electricity by storing energy harvested from your solar panels. ZCell is primarily made of plastic, aluminium and steel, elements that are easily recycled while its fluid electrolyte can be reused or repurposed,” he added.

ZCell’s core is a Redflow ZBM2 (Zinc Bromide Module 2) flow battery, an innovative product developed by Redflow that is already in commercial operation in Australia, Africa, Asia, America and Europe.

The smart battery is managed and protected by a sophisticated onboard computer control system, with an integrated Battery Management System, which enables easy on-site battery commissioning, monitoring and control using a smartphone-compatible Wi-Fi interface. It is housed in a custom-designed outdoor-rated enclosure that sits on the ground, connecting to a battery inverter/charger unit that delivers stored energy to your home.

It delivers benefits that often not be available to legacy battery types such as lead acid and lithium:

  • Large capacity with daily delivery of 10 kWh of energy at a 100% depth of discharge.
  • Greater safety: The electrolyte is fire-retardant electrolyte. Mechanical damage does not risk explosion, dangerously high current output from short-circuit or ‘thermal runaway’
  • Robust performance in even hot and demanding remote locations (up to 45°) without the need for external cooling
  • Most components, including plastic, aluminium, steel and electrolyte, are recyclable or reusable.

Simon Hackett said ZCell was the ideal home energy storage system for Australia. “Redflow has launched this new product under the name ZCell to distinguish it as a residential-ready product that is easily integrated by your chosen installer into your home’s solar and energy system,” he said.

“Final system cost will be set by your system installer, depending on your requirements and upon any additional items, such as solar panels, you may elect to include. We expect the fully installed cost of a ten kWh ZCell-based energy storage system will start from $17,500 – $19,500 including GST.“

“Due to ZCell’s sustainable 10kWh energy discharge capability, the cost per installed kWh – that is, the purchase cost divided by output capacity in kWh – is highly competitive with other systems on the market, while offering superior technical features.