Australian battery storage developer Redflow has announced a partnership with fellow Australian technology start-up Redback Technologies to use its battery management systems for its soon-to-be released flow batteries.
The partnership was announced on Tuesday morning, and will see Redback’s smart hybrid solar inverter system teamed with Redflow’s ZCell 10kWh flow battery.
This will allow for time-shifting solar power from day to night, store off-peak power for peak demand periods, and control appliances so that households and businesses can use more of their solar power, bringing full value to the battery storage systems.
The two Brisbane-based companies says the partnership will be particularly valuable as solar homes transition away from premium solar tariffs. In NSW, around 146,000 households will lose their gross tariffs of 60c/kWh given to all their output to a tariff of just 5.2c/kWh given for exports. That will encourage more households to install battery storage to increase their self consumption.
Australia, they say, is transitioning to lower emission energy systems, with one in five homes around the country equipped with solar, and many of those to consider battery storage.
Morgan Stanley, the investment bank, predicts battery storage costs to fall 40 per cent in the next two years, with flow battery systems among the biggest cost falls. Morgan Stanley expects one million homes to take up battery storage in the next four years, a take up four times quicker than the established energy industry anticipates.
Hackett says the deal with Redback undersores the capacity of Redflow technology to work smoothly with technology providers. “We are proving that we have a battery that is capable of working with the whole industry. Our intention is to be the Switzerland of the battery storage industry, we will work with everybody.”
Hackett says the ability of the ZCell to be exercised “heavily and deeply” – it can be fully discharged, unlike many lithium-ion systems which can only go to 80 per cent or 90 per cent discharge – was critically important.
Hackett says the arrangement with Redback is not exclusive and Redflow is trialling other hybrid inverters to give consumers maximum choice. It has already certified the Victron inverter to work with its batteries and more announcements are expected in coming weeks. The ZCell is expected to begin customer installations in August.
Redback says its technology solution is hosted in Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite cloud platform, ensuring easy updates and upgrades as their technology develops.
Founder and CEO Phil Livingston says it runs on a cloud-enabled intelligent system for analytics and remote control, which monitors consumption patterns, moving the use of appliances such as pool pumps and hot water into the “solar window” so they can be optimised to maximise self-consumption of rooftop solar.
“Redback Technologies is building the infrastructure for the next generation grid and partnering with Redflow provides choice to consumers and solar installers,” Livingstone said. “We are going to put more money into homeowners’ pockets and create cleaner energy for our children’s future,” he said.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of One Step Off The Grid, and also edits and founded Renew Economy and The Driven. He has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.
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