Remote home near Quindanning powered by Redflow battery

Redflow battery powers off-grid WA home, avoiding $100,000-plus in costs to connect to the power grid

A single Redflow battery is powering a “dream home” near Quindanning in south-west WA, saving its owners the six-figure cost of connecting it to the electricity grid.

In 2017, Geoff and Roz transported a derelict building made up of two hexagonal pods to their rural property in the south-west of Western Australia, aiming to create their dream retirement home.

With picturesque valley views towards the little town of Quindanning, about 170km from Perth, the 80-hectare property sits high on a ridge surrounded by native bushland. But the difficult-to-access property’s location meant the six-figure sum to connect to the power grid was cost-prohibitive. Going off-grid was the obvious solution.

Redflow partner TIEC, through its RBSS (Renewable Battery Storage Solutions) division, was commissioned to design a single-battery energy storage system that could meet the couple’s immediate needs and expand when their budget allowed.

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Longevity Medical Centre saves $10,000 a year as Redflow batteries beat outages

Since installing Redflow batteries in early 2017, Melbourne’s Longevity Medical Centre has avoided approximately $10,000 a year in business disruption costs by having a guaranteed power supply.

Based in Doncaster East, Longevity Medical Centre has a 20 kilowatt-hour (kWh) Redflow energy storage system, with two 10 kWh ZCell batteries and two Victron MultiPlus inverters, harvesting energy from a 5.3 kilowatt-peak (kWp) solar array on the roof of its multi-storey premises. Since it was installed in the first half of 2017, the Redflow battery system has stored with more than nine megawatt-hours of energy.

Founding owner James Bishop said he estimated the Redflow batteries were saving the medical centre about $10,000 a year by avoiding power outages. “It doesn’t matter if the outage is for one minute or one hour, the disruption of getting everything working again would cost us about $2000 per occurrence,” he said.

“With four to five power outages a year, that’s $10,000 a year we’ve saved, plus the reduced energy cost of time-shifting stored solar energy. The bottom line is that business is hard enough without having power fluctuations. Every business buys insurance to offset the risk of disruption. Batteries give us insurance for our electricity supply which insurance policies fail to cover or cover poorly.”

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Redflow batteries demonstrate benefits of hibernation feature at Yallalong Station

Redflow’s WA partner TIEC Electrical has reported that Yallalong Station in the WA outback has put two of its four ZCell batteries into hibernation as energy demands dropped after the cattle mustering season.

TIEC’s project update on its website reports that now Yallalong has fewer workers at the station, it needs less power to run fridges, air-conditioning and other creature comforts in the remote Murchison location. 

TIEC’s Leith Elsegood said this was where the Redflow energy storage technology stepped up – whereas old chemistry batteries just did not+ make the grade. “By remotely logging into Yallalong’s Battery Management System (BMS) we can see that the system has put two of their four batteries into hibernation,” he said.

“Battery 1 has been Offline now for 10 days with a retained State of Charge (SoC) of 96.4 per cent and Battery 3 has been in Standby Power System mode (SPS) for 12 days with 100 per cent State of Charge – this battery is ready and waiting to automatically come online if more power is required for any reason. 

“We believe that this ability to retain all stored energy when not in use and have it available at the flick of a switch is one of the biggest advantages of zinc-bromine flow battery technology. Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries can sit in standby for years at any charge capacity – from fully charged to fully flat – and then be up and running again in a few seconds, ready to deliver its stored energy.”

Read TIEC Electrical’s full project update about Yallalong Station by clicking here.

Redflow batteries at Swansea University in Britain

Swansea University deploys Redflow batteries for renewable energy Active Building demonstrator

Swansea University’s 120 kilowatt-hours (kWh) Redflow battery installation is now commissioned and operating, storing and supplying renewable energy on a microgrid that powers the Swansea University Active Building demonstrator. 

Swansea University’s Technology Transfer Fellow (Smart Systems) Tom Griffiths said the commissioning process was simple, despite a slight delay due to Covid-19. “We were very impressed with the set-up process for the Redflow batteries,” he said. “It was very simple, clear and logical and our local installation partner who had never worked with flow batteries before was easily able to support us in commissioning the system.” 

With the 12 x ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow battery energy storage system now operational, Redflow and Swansea University are working to develop additional areas for cooperation and collaboration beyond this initial microgrid project.

In March this year, Swansea University, a research-led British university, purchased Redflow’s unique ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow battery technology as the energy storage backbone for its Active Building demonstrator -– an award-winning classroom that generates, stores and releases solar energy at the point of use.

The microgrid is built around 120 kWh of Redflow batteries and is supplied with building-integrated, thin-film photovoltaic solar panels, as well as a solar wall that supplies the warm air to a heat-pump for space and water heating.  Since being built, the classroom has proven the Active Buildings concept by generating more energy than it has used over an annual cycle, and during high solar summer months, the system will return power to the local electricity grid.

Redflow’s small 10 kWh flow battery units are the only commercially available flow battery energy storage system that allowed accurate sizing for the 120 kWh system. Additionally, the Redflow battery operates “out of the box” with the Victron inverters and controllers that provide the power conversion for the Swansea University minigrid.

Tom Griffiths said Swansea had selected the Redflow technology because of its ability to deliver 100 per cent of the rated system energy every day, without degradation in capacity over a long – 10 year – life. “These characteristics were crucial considerations for us, and our application requires battery discharge duration of 4-8 hours depending on the time of year, making Redflow’s flow battery the ideal fit for our requirements in comparison to more conventional lead-acid or lithium alternatives.”

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Delta Electrics General Manager Andrew Boller with a Redflow ZCell battery

New NT partner opens up Top End opportunities for Redflow

Redflow’s latest partner, Darwin-based Delta Electrics, believes that zinc-bromine flow batteries are ideally suited to deliver energy storage in the hot, demanding conditions of the Top End.

Founded in 1969, Delta Electrics is a leading supplier of power-related products and services to some of the largest organisations operating in the Northern Territory including Power Water, Territory Generation, the Australian Department of Defence, Telstra, McArthur River Mining/Xstrata and Energy Resources Australia. Delta’s client base spans an extensive range of industry sectors such as telecommunications, power utilities, agriculture, local councils and remote Aboriginal communities.

Delta Electrics General Manager Andrew Boller said the Northern Territory was increasingly seeking the benefits of new-generation batteries. “With years of experience with batteries, Delta Electrics understands the challenges and limitations of working with lithium-based battery chemistries within the NT: Unless they are installed in an air-conditioned environment. the operating temperatures of lithium batteries are always in the high 30s or more, which can significantly impact their life,” he said.

“Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries are the ideal energy storage technology for the NT due to their ability to operate in harsh conditions and in warmer temperatures without cooling.

“We see Redflow as a prime partner going forward in the area of off-grid and battery-smoothing projects of less than one megawatt-hour (mWh) with the current technology easily available to support up to these levels. We have many opportunities in the 200-600 kilowatt-hour (kWh) range in the pipeline and several in the sub-100kWh range that are also ideally suited to Redflow.”

Delta Electrics undertook a detailed evaluation of Redflow batteries to identify that Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow battery technology offered many benefits for the NT market compared to lithium technology. These benefits include greater safety, operating at higher ambient temperatures and the ability to utilise 100 per cent of the battery’s storage capacity without impacting its operating life.

To highlight the strong potential for Redflow batteries, Delta Electrics has installed a two-ZBM2 battery 20kWh demonstration system that can showcase the benefits of zinc-bromine battery technology to its customers. This live system also enables Delta Electrics to develop hands-on-experience and an in-depth understanding of the operation, capabilities and commissioning of a Redflow energy storage solution that will equip it to promote the technology more effectively.

“Given our initial testing with Redflow, we feel confident in the technology and our ability to develop integrated solutions,” said Andrew Boller. “The Redflow Battery Management System (BMS) is well designed and allows us to easily integrate the batteries into systems to deliver controllable and scalable solutions,” he said. “Our ability to remotely support these batteries is a real benefit in the NT.”

Redflow CEO Tim Harris said Delta Electrics completes Redflow’s coverage of all Australian states and territories. “Andrew has a wealth of knowledge and strong established relationships in the NT,” he said. “Delta Electrics is a successful business with the strong expertise and capabilities that will allow Redflow to explore a number of current opportunities and build a strong presence within the NT.”

For full details of Redflow’s Australian partners, please visit https://redflow.com/system-integrators/australian-partners/.

About Redflow

Redflow Limited, a publicly listed Australian company (ASX: RFX). Redflow produces small 10kWh zinc-bromine flow batteries that tolerate daily hard work in harsh conditions. Marketed as ZCell and ZBM2, Redflow batteries are designed for high cycle-rate, long time-base stationary energy storage applications in the residential, commercial & industrial and telecommunications sectors, and are scalable from a single battery installation through to grid-scale deployments. Redflow batteries are sold, installed and maintained by an international network of energy system integrators. Redflow’s smart, self-protecting batteries offer unique advantages including secure remote management, 100 per cent daily depth of discharge, tolerance of high ambient temperatures, a simple recycling path, no propensity for thermal runaway and sustained energy delivery throughout their operating life. 

Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris

Redflow announces capital raise

Redflow Limited has today announced an Entitlement Offer to raise as much as $22.9 million before offer costs with an immediate target of around $6.25 million.

When the Board last raised capital from shareholders in April 2019 (by way of a 1:2 pro-rata non-renounceable entitlement offer) it noted that Redflow was well-positioned to gain sales traction and customer acceptance of its innovative zinc-bromine flow batteries. 

Since that time, Redflow has:

  • grown sales over the nine months to 31 March 2020 by 166 per cent to $1.7m versus the prior corresponding period;
  • secured (after extensive trials) an initial order from Vodacom, which is part of one of the world’s largest telco groups, for nearly 30  telecommunication tower sites in South Africa (68 batteries);
  • developed a close relationship with Mobax, one of Southern Africa’s largest field services companies for the telecommunications industry;
  • been selected by New Zealand Rural Connectivity Group to provide energy storage for a number of off-grid sites with an initial order in December 2019 and repeat order in April 2020 (22 batteries in total) and have been advised that Redflow batteries are a reference technology in a closed tender to select an installation partner for all RCG’s remaining off-grid telecommunication towers;
  • achieved ISO9001 accreditation for our Thailand factory and demonstrated the benefits of a wholly-owned flexible manufacturing capability (capable of quickly scaling to 250 batteries a month);
  • proven the capacity, performance, structure and behaviour of our Thailand manufactured batteries after more than 600 cycles through an Australian government-sponsored independent testing program;
  • captured a growing number of orders through a refreshed partner ecosystem in Australia – notably in the agricultural and commercial sectors;
  • expanded into China via a Collaboration Agreement with ZbestPower Co – including the deployment of a 10 battery demonstration site in Qinghai Province; and
  • secured material improvements in future input costs through key supplier negotiations.
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New AEMC rules may create opportunities for Redflow

New Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) rules mean that networks could soon replace lengthy and costly poles and wires for households and businesses in remote and disaster-prone areas with stand-alone solar and storage systems.

This generates opportunities for Redflow’s robust long-duration energy storage technology which is well suited to these applications as shown by customers from Yallalong station in outback WA to remote Ban Pha Dan village in northern Thailand. https://reneweconomy.com.au/networks-can-now-replace-costly-poles-and-wires-with-solar-and-storage-micro-grids-93400/

Video: Redflow CEO reports on Q3 19-20 achievements

Redflow has today reported a 166 per increase in revenue during the first nine months of the 2020 financial year, demonstrating strong underlying demand for its zinc-bromine flow batteries.

“We are pleased to have delivered a 166 per cent increase in revenue over the first nine months of FY2020, demonstrating that we have identified key target markets with a strong underlying demand for our batteries, including the telecommunications sector, off-grid diesel reduction and optimised mini-grid operations,’ said Redflow CEO and Managing Director Tim Harris.

“Notwithstanding the temporary impacts from COVID-19, there remains strong interest from our customers for batteries with our unique properties, including theft mitigation and frequent cycling without degradation, and they each have the capacity to drive material battery orders for Redflow.

“After a strong first half FY2020, COVID-19 has impacted our business in the third quarter across multiple markets and customers.  We have responded to the challenging operating environment by taking measures to ensure that Redflow manages costs effectively and we are well-positioned to benefit from easing of Government imposed restrictions, a recovery in economic activity, and a revival in customer demand for our batteries.  These initiatives will enable the Company to maximise its current cash position and deliver an enhanced product offering that meets the needs of our customers and positions us well in the future.”

A short video presentation by Tim Harris on the results and key takeaways from Redflow’s March 2020 Quarterly Report can be viewed at https://youtu.be/zgfRr_N3Dhg

Redflow’s commentary on its 4C statement, released today, follows below.

Continue reading “Video: Redflow CEO reports on Q3 19-20 achievements”
Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris with ZBM2 batteries

Redflow receives subsequent order of flow batteries for New Zealand’s RCG

Redflow Limited (ASX: RFX) has received a subsequent order for its ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries for deployment by New Zealand’s Rural Connectivity Group (RCG).

Redflow, which supplied an initial eight batteries for use by RCG in November 2019, has received a follow on order for an additional 10 batteries for installation at two new off-grid RCG telecommunications transmission towers in the North Island of New Zealand. Local RCG partner Switchboard Services has placed the order and will undertake ZBM2 installation works.

This repeat order follows the successful installation and commissioning of Redflow’s ZBM2 batteries at two RCG towers late last year.

Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris said this order for ZBM2 batteries at further RCG sites demonstrated the benefits that Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow battery technology delivered to telecommunications companies. “These benefits include long-life performance, heat-tolerance and theft-resistance,” he said.

“This builds on the interest and demand we have seen from Vodacom and Moropa in South Africa and Optus in Australia last year. We are extremely pleased to continue to solidify our product positioning as an energy storage technology of choice in the telecommunications market for off-grid and weak grid environments.”

About the RCG programme

The RCG programme is a venture between the New Zealand government and the three mobile network operators in New Zealand: Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees, to provide or enhance 4G mobile and wireless broadband coverage in New Zealand for off-grid and on-grid environments with a focus on rural areas and areas impacted by black-spots.  The Redflow ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow battery has been selected for use on off-grid sites and is particularly well suited to the requirements of this application. The batteries provide long duration run times for sites powered almost exclusively by PV solar panels, with a backup generator used in winter conditions.

The batteries provide 100% cycling capability each day to maximise the utilisation of the solar generation and that daily cycling capacity does not degrade with utilisation or at elevated temperatures up to 50ºC. The 10-year life of the Redflow ZBM2 with minimal maintenance makes for a cost-effective total-cost-of-ownership over the long haul.

About Redflow www.redflow.com

Redflow Limited, a publicly-listed Australian company (ASX: RFX), produces small 10kWh zinc-bromine flow batteries that tolerate daily hard work in harsh conditions. Marketed as ZCell and ZBM2, Redflow batteries are designed for high cycle-rate, long time-base stationary energy storage applications in the residential, commercial & industrial and telecommunications sectors, and are scalable from a single battery installation through to grid-scale deployments. Redflow batteries are sold, installed and maintained by an international network of energy system integrators. Redflow’s smart, self-protecting batteries offer unique advantages including secure remote management, 100 per cent daily depth of discharge, tolerance of high ambient temperatures, a simple recycling path, no propensity for thermal runaway and sustained energy delivery throughout their operating life.