Redflow wins $60k order for zinc-bromide batteries


Australian flow battery designer Redflow on October 4 announced orders worth US$600,000 for its ZCell batteries from installation partner Standard Solar, which said half of those 48 systems had been sold to a range of business and residential customers including one government agency and an educational institution.

One customer is planning a fully off-grid solution that requires multiple ZCells, the company told Batteries & Energy Storage Bulletin.

In September, Redflow announced it had approved its first installers, which include Geographe Electrical Communications, Off-Grid Energy Australia, SolarQuip, Suntrix, the Solar Depot and WES Group, as well as Standard Solar.

“Without going into who ordered what, we have received orders from several of these installers and we expect more because of the high level of interest they’ve received since their Redflow relationship was announced,” a Redflow spokesperson told BESB.

Redflow says its zinc-bromide batteries are the world’s smallest flow batteries, which makes them suitable for all sizes of applications.

“The batteries tolerate temperatures up to 50°C, and unlike lithium-based batteries, are not at risk of thermal runaway because the zinc-bromide electrolyte is fire-retardant,” says the firm. “The batteries can charge and discharge 100% of their energy capacity each day without causing any of the damage that would be sustained with traditional battery chemistries.” The batteries are backed with a 10-year warranty.

The ZCell flow batteries were launched in March, when new CEO and executive chairman Simon Hackett welcomed Tesla’s entry to the energy market, saying it made the industry ‘sexy’.

“I believe that, in future years, 2016 will be seen as the year that the renewable-energy storage sector hit its inflection point,” said Hackett. “Converting the world energy grid to becoming majority renewable-sourced is now entirely achievable by using batteries to time-shift electricity.”

Despite the abundance of solar energy available in Australia electricity costs are high, and in a report by Australia’s state-backed Climate Council, the country is predicted to become one of the world’s largest markets for energy storage.

In a survey by Morgan Stanley, half of households asked were interested in battery-backed solar systems, creating a potential market value of $24 billion.

“Redflow already has its commercial batteries installed in South Africa, New Zealand, Asia, North and Central America and Europe, so interest is clearly present in both the developed and the developing world,” said the spokesperson.