Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel recently visited the Knox City Council’s state-of-the-art Children and Family Centre at Wantirna South in Melbourne to learn about the adoption and operation of Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries which provide energy to the Centre.
Knox City Council has built two state-of-the-art early years facilities in Melbourne’s outer east – one at Wantirna South and the other at Bayswater – designed to last for 100 years, with leading-edge insulation, power conservation and renewable energy systems.
Each Knox Children and Family Centre contains 18 Redflow ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries – capable of storing 180 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy at each site – to ensure its renewably-sourced energy is available around the clock. Combined with 100 kilowatts peak (kWp) of solar panels on the roof of each building, Knox City Council expects this renewable energy system will save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in energy costs.
Dr Finkel commented that the flow batteries were well suited to big installations, due to their long life and cycling advantages. “Incorporating energy supply and management systems in building design is the way of the future,” said Dr Finkel. “These batteries are truly long life, have an unlimited number of cycles, are made from inexpensive materials, and can be recycled at the end of their life.”
Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris said that the company was targeting expansion into larger installations during the next six to 12 months. “The industry understanding that there are viable alternatives to lithium is critical,” he said. “We now have demonstrable examples of our solution in action, and recognition of Redflow’s unique benefits provides a valuable contribution to this dialogue. We were very pleased to have the opportunity to show Dr Finkel the Knox system in action.”