Off-grid WA orchard beats bushfire blackouts with Redflow batteries

After losing power as the night horizon glowed orange with bushfires last summer, WA orchardists Jeff and Kerry Murray installed Redflow batteries to take their property off-grid and make it energy-independent year-round.

Power outages have plagued the Murrays’ farm – called Kalyakool, a Noongah word meaning “forever more” – since they bought the 34-hectare property near Gingin, 90km north of Perth, in 1994.

Mr Murray said the threat from the December bushfire was “the last straw”. “Our water comes from two bores, so without power, we can’t get any water,” he said. “The summer fire didn’t get to us, but it impinged on us through the loss of power for a whole day, which was followed by multiple outages as they brought it back on. If fire does reach us, we need energy to run the pumps to defend our property, which is why the bushfire was the last straw for us.”

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Redflow receives order for ZBM2 batteries to power rural microgrid in North West Tasmania

Redflow Limited (ASX: RFX) has secured an order to immediately supply 27 of its ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries for a Tasmanian farm owned by Simon Hackett.

Mr Hackett – Redflow’s largest single shareholder – has designed an energy system to deliver energy independence for the 73-hectare property, The Vale (http://www.thevale.com.au), located in North West Tasmania.

The Vale runs sheep and beef cattle, with ‘The Vale Lamb’ featuring on the menus of multiple hotels along the north-west Tasmanian coast. The farm, which is diversifying into additional forms of agriculture, is also exploring an expansion into eco-tourism operations. The energy harvesting, storage and distribution system at The Vale will use an initial deployment of 27 ZBM2 batteries, storing as much as 270 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy, interfaced to a large fault-tolerant cluster of 12 x Victron Quattro 48/15000 inverter/chargers. The system will harvest renewable energy from a 100-kilowatt peak (kWp) ground-mounted array of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, with scope for future expansion.

Mr Hackett said his goal for the system was to create energy independence for the farm, delivering energy to power both building loads and electric vehicles. “The project, with an overall budget of around $1m, will include the building of a new site-wide microgrid. This will use new underground power interconnects to link seven distinct buildings across the whole property,” he said. Continue reading “Redflow receives order for ZBM2 batteries to power rural microgrid in North West Tasmania”