John Lindsay

Former telco exec praises the benefits of Redflow’s BMS for telecom companies

Former senior telecommunication executive John Lindsay, who is a Redflow director, has recorded a YouTube video to highlight the benefits of the Redflow BMS (Battery Management System) for telecommunication companies.

Telcos, including Optus in Australia, Vodafone and RCG in New Zealand and Mobax in South Africa, have deployed Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow batteries to provide energy storage for mobile phone towers in their respective countries.

John Lindsay, who was previously CTO of major telecommunication companies including Internode and iiNet Limited, said he was “quite impressed” by the way Redflow’s BMS solved problems that he used to experience managing batteries for those ISPs.

“In a former life … I was responsible for batteries at remote telecommunication facilities and managing them was quite difficult,” he said. 

“Unlike traditional electrochemical batteries, the Redflow Zinc-Bromine Module, or ZBM, has an on-board manager that decides whether each ZBM can be charged, discharged, put to sleep or woken up. Each group of ZBMs can have a Battery Management System, or BMS, which coordinates the operations of the ZBMs and communicates with the battery charger and load with an interface called CANBUS.

“The Redflow BMS connects to a Redflow Cloud service which securely monitors the status of every ZBM and securely allows the on-board software, or firmware, to be updated, just like your computer gets updated, so you ZBM will probably be smarter in the future.

“As a former telco and ISP Chief Technology Officer, the Redflow BMS really excites me because the power systems used for mobile base station and wireless ISP sites are usually very simple – a battery charger – and the equipment is often connected directly to the batteries. Sometimes, the first time you find a lithium or lead-acid battery cell has failed is when the equipment at the site stops working.”

John Lindsay said the Redflow BMS provided real-time insight into the performance of Redflow batteries, managing them like a fleet to optimise the system’s energy storage capacity and efficiency. “The Redflow BMS turns a set of ZBMs into an energy storage appliance,” he said.

Click below to view John Lindsay’s under-the-hood YouTube video introduction to the Redflow BMS. 

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.

Vodacom deploys Redflow batteries to reduce theft and vandalism at South African mobile tower sites

One of Africa’s leading telecommunication companies Vodacom is deploying Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries at mobile base stations in South Africa to reduce the vandalism and theft associated with lead-acid and lithium batteries. 

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Redflow reported that Vodacom’s new use of Redflow ZBM2 batteries specifically to manage battery theft and vandalism is a significant commercial development for Redflow in the large African market. 

This development provides meaningful external validation by a major player in the African telco market of Redflow’s belief that the ZBM2 battery’s resistance to theft and vandalism is an important competitive advantage for the product in the large African market and other emerging economies. 

Continue reading “Vodacom deploys Redflow batteries to reduce theft and vandalism at South African mobile tower sites”

Rural Connectivity Group chooses Redflow for off-grid energy storage in New Zealand

The New Zealand Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) has chosen Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries to store energy in off-grid telecommunication sites in remote rural locations. Commercial negotiations to establish a direct relationship between RCG and Redflow to purchase batteries are now underway.

Continue reading “Rural Connectivity Group chooses Redflow for off-grid energy storage in New Zealand”