A Queensland family has installed the largest residential Reflow ZCell battery system in Australia, at 60kWh, as part of an off-grid solar and storage system will allow them to avoid the cost of connecting to the network, and of hefty future power bills.
The storage system, installed by Off-Grid Energy, comprises six of the Brisbane battery maker’s 10kWh zinc-bromine flow batteries (pictured below), and a nearly 19kW (72 panel) solar PV array, that is installed on the roof of a nearby shed.
The owners of the home, Scott and Breeann Bates, said they went with the Redflow battery system to guarantee grid-independence, uninterrupted power and no power bills.
But their decision to go off-grid was also a practical one: the new house sits about 2.7km from the nearest mains power connection, on a cattle and grain property near Wallumbilla, a regional town about five hours west of Brisbane.
“We were initially interested in solar because running mains power the required distance to our site was going to be an expensive exercise,” said Breeann.
“Costwise, the difference between running mains power to the new house site and setting up the solar-powered energy storage system was negligible,” she said.
“The added benefits of uninterrupted power and no power bills made the decision easy.”
The family also designed their new home based on the decision to live off-grid, making sure the 400-square metre single-storey four-bedroom structure was well insulated in the floor, walls and ceiling.
Breann said that, so far, the solar and storage system had not disappointed.
“We are really impressed with it. Scott wanted to be able to do everything on batteries that we could do on mains power and not compromise our way of living.
“It’s cold in the morning, so we’re running the heaters to keep our three kids warm, and we keep them on until the day warms up.
“Our variable climate means we can have the air conditioning cooling the house one day and then heating it the next,” she added.
“Even through these challenging conditions, the system has managed to seamlessly fulfil our power needs.”
According to Redflow global sales director, Andrew Kempster, the company is getting “a significant number of orders” for ZCells for customers whose homes were off-grid, not least off all due to their chemistry being well-suited to Australia’s harsh summers.
One of the ASX-listed company’s key selling points has been the batteries’ tolerance of ambient temperatures as hot as 50°C, as well as sustained energy storage of 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) throughout their operating life.
“(These families) recognise the benefits of ZCells including their tolerance of hot climates, their ability to discharge 100 per cent of their power without damaging the battery and the fact that they retain their full storage capacity for many years,” Kempster said.
Specs: The Bates family’s energy storage system is made up six Redflow ZCell zinc-bromine flow batteries, two Victron Quattro 48/10000 inverter/chargers and 72 Tindo 260-watt solar panels, with an 18.72 kilowatt peak (kWp) capacity. The system is monitored remotely by Off-Grid Energy and Redflow.