• Customer: Simon Hackett
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
  • Storage: 2 x Redflow ZBM2 batteries

Simon Hackett is a man who likes to walk the walk as well as talk the talk, so the Redflow CEO was an early adopter of the Redflow-designed zinc-bromine flow battery that is at the heart of the ZCell residential energy storage system. At his eastern Adelaide home, Mr Hackett installed two Redflow batteries in early 2016, replacing a pair of ageing lead-acid batteries. As well as slashing energy consumption in his home, Mr Hackett saw the batteries power his household through a state-wide grid blackout in September that year without his family even noticing the power outage.

Simon Hackett with his Redflow battery system
Simon Hackett with his Redflow battery system

Hackett house powers through State-wide blackout

When 1.7 million South Australians lost power in late September 2016, the family of Redflow CEO Simon Hackett in eastern Adelaide learned of the state-wide blackout by reading about it on social media.

As the State’s electricity grid shut down to protect itself during a fierce storm, two Redflow batteries at the Hackett house continued to operate, providing it with electricity, without missing a beat.

Mr Hackett said the two Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries had worked as intended. “They kept our lights on as the rest of the State was plunged into darkness,” he said.

The Hackett home’s Redflow energy storage system comprises two 10 kilowatt-hour (kWh) ZBM2 zinc-bromine hybrid flow batteries, the Redflow ZCell Battery Management System (BMS), two 5000VA Victron Energy inverter/chargers, a 10 kilowatt peak (kWp) solar panel array in four strings using two SMA 5000-TL inverters and a Victron Energy CCGX configured for solar self-consumption.

In 2016, Simon Hackett – an early adopter of home battery technology – replaced two six-year-old lead-acid battery strings with the two ZBM2 batteries, which store energy using Redflow’s unique zinc-bromine flow battery technology. As an early production deployment of Redflow batteries in a home, the system pre-dates the existence of the company’s ZCell battery enclosures.

Mr Hackett said the system had performed well since it was installed. “On a sunny week, most of our home’s electricity is provided by solar energy, both directly and indirectly, by using the Redflow batteries to time-shift stored energy,” he said.

“Like a home rainwater tank saves water, this system acts as an electrical energy buffer, reducing the use of grid energy where possible and prioritising the use of battery energy.

“Of course, in weather conditions with less sunshine, we use more grid energy. The system automatically reverts to off-grid mode if the grid is unavailable, including recharging the batteries from solar energy to help support loads in the home for extended periods during such outages.”

Installed by Redflow partner Solar Depot, the Redflow batteries at the Hackett household use the ZCell battery management system, so they can be monitored and managed remotely via the Internet from a smartphone or computer.

Download and read the full Simon Hackett case study by clicking here