Redflow enters Australian Residential ESS Market

March 31, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Redflow, Ltd. the Australian developer of a zinc-bromide hybrid flow battery has announced the ZCell energy storage system (ESS) for residential installations. It will be formally introduced to the market next week. ZCell can deliver 10kWh of stored energy each day at 100% depth of dischsrge, harvesting energy from solar panels or lower-cost off-peak power, for use when needed. Also today, Germany's sonnen announced its first Australian partner True Value Solar that will be offering a system of solar roof panels and sonnen's storage system, the sonnenBatterie.

ZCell claims unique benefits compared to Lead-Acid or Lithium-based alternatives including: Daily energy output of 10kWh at 100% depth of discharge; Made with reuseable and recyclable major components; Heat tolerant to at least 45 degrees C ambient without external cooling; Intrinsically fire retardant electrolyte - not at risk of thermal runaway; Smart battery control system (web browser based interface); On-ground outdoor enclosure for straightforward installation; and a 10-year warranty on the battery stack (the energy core of ZCell).

Earlier this month, Redflow announced the establishment of a battery laboratory in Adelaide to assist with its software development and to certify its zinc-bromide (ZnBr) flow batteries with multiple inverters. While Redflow has its core R&D facilities in Brisbane, the Kent Town-based lab provides important support for the launch of the company's residential battery. Last month, Redflow announced that it will launch its residential battery before the end of March with commercial installations scheduled to occur from June this year.

Initially, the ZCell energy storage system is certified for use with inverters from Victron Energy. Other certified inverters are expected tdo be announced in the next few months. Victron’s MultiPlus is a true sine wave inverter, a sophisticated battery charger that features adaptive charge technology and a high-speed ac transfer switch in a single compact enclosure. Models range from 800VA to 5000VA per module.

The MultiPlus will prevent overload of a limited ac source. First, battery charging will automatically be reduced when otherwise an overload would occur. The second level will boost the output of a generator or shore side supply with power taken from the battery. In the event of a grid failure or shore or generator power being disconnected, the inverter within the Multi is automatically activated and takes over the supply to the connected loads. This happens so fast (less than 20 milliseconds) that computers and other electronic equipment will continue to operate without disruption.