CSIRO scientist tells ABC Radio that zinc-bromine flow batteries are ‘potentially considerably cheaper’ than lithium

CSIRO Principal Research Scientist Dr Adam Best has told ABC Radio that zinc-bromine flow batteries are ‘potentially considerably cheaper’ than lithium batteries because they don’t require the “critical minerals” used in a lithium-ion battery.

Dr Best, who is currently on secondment from CSIRO to Energy Renaissance as a Research and Development Advisor, has led a CSIRO team for lithium battery development, including a focus on advanced electrolytes, to support the development of an Australian battery industry

In an interview with ABC Radio’s Geraldine Doogue, Dr Best described zinc-bromine flow batteries as “an Australian invention” that uses “a completely different type of chemistry”.  “A company called Redflow actually makes these batteries,” he said.

“They have a very different type of electrolyte and they basically use pumped fluids to do the energy storage activity. So it’s very much a different style of battery, much bigger than you would see currently in a lithium-ion system, but potentially considerably cheaper because you don’t use a lot of the critical minerals that a lithium-ion battery uses.”

Click here to listen to Geraldine Doogue’s interview with Dr. Best whose comments on zinc-bromine flow batteries start at 14 minutes and four seconds. 

WA’s Jindong Treeton Farm goes off-grid with Redflow and TIEC

West Australian Redflow partner TIEC Electrical is finalising deployment of its latest agricultural Redflow flow battery energy storage system at Jindong Treeton Farm, 250km south of Perth.

Located next to the Margaret River Wine Region, Jindong Treeton Farm selected TIEC to install the 60 kilowatt-hour (kWh) Redflow flow battery-based energy storage system in order to go off-grid. 

When the property owners recognised they needed three-phase power to meet their expansion plans and machinery power requirements, they found their local southwest power utility was not a viable solution financially, so asked TIEC Electrical to design a system to meet their budget and power needs.

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Beyond Lithium, Zinc will enable the energy grids of the future

Zinc-based technologies are emerging as a viable energy storage alternative to overcome the limitations of lithium-based batteries, states Morgan Frederick, manager of the International Zinc Association’s Zinc Battery Initiative.

In a column published by North American Clean Energy, Mr Frederick lists the limitations of lithium as including insecure supply chains, risky flammability, and inadequate recyclability. “When all the complements and alternatives to lithium gain the prominence they deserve. It’s time to bank on zinc’s promising role in the energy systems of the future,” he writes.  

“Zinc is exceptionally well suited to electrochemical storage. That’s why it was the key ingredient in the world’s first battery, and why it still powers all the AA, C, and D batteries in our homes. 

“As global requirements for energy storage become more demanding and complex, a range of new zinc-based technologies have emerged to innovate and advance the capability of batteries to provide our increasingly challenging global energy needs.”

Redflow this week announced that it has joined the International Zinc Association to support the Zinc Battery Initiative. Click this link to read the full version of Mr Frederick’s column.

Redflow joins International Zinc Association to drive initiative promoting zinc battery benefits


  • IZA members represent 60 per cent of worldwide zinc production and 80 per cent of Western Hemisphere production
  • IZA’s Zinc Battery Initiative aims to promote Zinc batteries’ substantial advantages over competing chemistries such as lithium-ion and lead-acid, especially in Redflow’s focus of long-duration energy storage
  • Joining the IZA and Zinc Battery Initiative benefits Redflow’s focus on developing the market for zinc-bromine flow batteries in North America and other core markets.

Redflow Limited today announces that it has joined the International Zinc Association (IZA) to contribute to a global initiative promoting the benefits of zinc-based energy storage.

The International Zinc Association is a Group whose members represent 60 per cent of worldwide production of zinc and 80 per cent of production in the Western Hemisphere. In addition, it has more than 150 affiliate members from key zinc-consuming end-user groups.

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Simon Hackett blog takes ‘a look under the hood’ of Redflow’s new Gen3 battery

Redflow’s largest shareholder Simon Hackett has released a blog on Redflow’s latest update on the smallest commercially available hybrid zinc-bromine flow battery in the world, the Gen3 Zinc-Bromine Module (ZBM). The size of these 10kWh energy storage modules means they can be deployed in applications, such as telco tower sites, that were previously impossible to address with flow batteries, yet they can also scale to grid-level energy storage.

Simon, who leads Redflow’s software and integration efforts as its Systems Integration Architect, who recently spent some time at Redflow’s Brisbane headquarters said, “it is impressive to see just how far the Gen3 project has progressed in recent months and to appreciate the level of innovation it embodies”. https://simonhackett.com/2021/05/23/redflow-gen3-zbm/

Simon Hackett on Pod Z: The Redflow Grid-Scale HVDC Energy Pod

Redflow’s largest shareholder, who is also the company’s System Integration Architect, Simon Hackett recently published a blog of the company’s latest achievement, the Pod Z.

Simon’s blog, linked below, includes a video in which he explains how the Pod Z works as the new architecture designed by Redflow to enter the grid-scale energy storage market. https://simonhackett.com/2021/05/17/pod-z-the-redflow-grid-scale-hvdc-energy-pod/

Redflow attends National Renewables in Agriculture Conference in Dubbo this week

Redflow is attending the National Renewables in Agriculture Conference and Expo 2021 in Dubbo this week, Wednesday, May 19, to further explore opportunities for its flow batteries in the farming sector.

Redflow’s Regional Director, Sales, Warwick Forster will represent the company at the agricultural energy expo to highlight the successes the company has achieved in supplying batteries for rural customers throughout the country. The full-day event is running at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre. #renewablesinag

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Redflow selects TRUMPF electronics to deliver scalable high-voltage grid-level energy storage deployments

Australian energy storage company Redflow Limited has integrated bi-directional converters from global electronics manufacturer TRUMPF Hüttinger into its innovative Energy Pod Z scalable modules to deliver large-scale energy storage for major projects.

The first deployment of Redflow’s new Energy Pod Z grid-scale modular architecture is for a two megawatt-hour energy storage system at a major US bioenergy facility for a global technology leader in recovering value from waste. The project in southern California marks Redflow’s first major project in the US and its largest global deployment to date.

Redflow Pod Z scalable module with integrated bi-directional converters from TRUMPF Hüttinger

Each Pod-Z module contains 16 Redflow batteries integrated with TRUMPF Hüttinger TruConvert bi-directional DC voltage converter/controllers. This integration allows the pods to deliver energy in the 700–900-volt DC range that is needed to construct and operate truly grid-scale energy system deployments.

By using TRUMPF Hüttinger power conversion modules to configure each of the 12 pods for a 50kW high voltage energy throughput, the total system at the California facility will achieve a continuous energy rating of 600kW. The Energy Pod Z architecture using TRUMPF DC converters has no limit on the number of Energy Pod Z modules that can be deployed, enabling the architecture to support much larger energy storage sites.

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Redflow CEO Tim Harris speaks at Smart Energy conference this week

In his presentation on Wednesday afternoon, Tim will discuss the topic of sharing the benefits of energy storage between customers and the community.

Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris is presenting this Wednesday, May 12, at the Smart Energy Conference, running at ICCC Sydney Darling Harbor.

Celebrating its 59th anniversary in 2021, Smart Energy Conference & Exhibition (Smart Energy 2021) is Australia’s premier event for solar, storage and energy management. It is the one place for the smart energy community to come together to be inspired, innovate and connect with one another over the two days. Learn more at https://www.smartenergyexpo.org.au/.

Redflow enters a high-capacity, high-voltage, grid-scale future with Energy Pod Z energy storage modules

Redflow has today released a YouTube video introducing its new Energy Pod Z energy storage module, which provides access for the company to a high-voltage, high-capacity, grid-scale future

Each Redflow Energy Pod Z module, which integrates 16 Redflow batteries with world-leading power conversion technology, can deliver high-voltage energy and can scale as large as required.

In the video, Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris and Redflow’s System Integration Architect, Simon Hackett – also the company’s largest shareholder – explain the benefits of the new Energy Pod Z, which was designed to provide two megawatt-hours (2MWh) of energy storage for the Anaergia Rialto Bioenergy Facility in southern California.

“We’re seeing here the start of the high-voltage, high-capacity, grid-scale future for Redflow,” said Simon “This is a great design, this is the first instance of it. We’ve got a pod that has got 16 of our batteries and a set of advanced electronics that take that system, take that battery voltage, and bring it up to the high voltage that’s needed for grid-scale applications.

“Normally our batteries are 48-volt batteries. What we’re adding here is some technology from a great European company that makes power electronics that’s suited to flow batteries, that’s suited for our applications, that turns that low voltage into 800-900 volts.

“The point of doing that is when you want to deploy many megawatts of power, when you don’t just have a few batteries – you want hundreds of batteries, ultimately thousands of batteries – you need to do that at high voltage. 

“So this is the key for us. Once you have this thing in the field, you can essentially have as many as you like…once you run this sort of advanced high-voltage system, the sky’s the limit.”

Tim explains that the Anaergia project is more than Redflow’s largest battery order: “It’s really the foundation for us to go into large megawatt-hour systems,” he said.

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