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Simon Hackett takes delivery of big battery array, charges up office and Tesla

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One Step Off The Grid

Internet entrepreneur and now battery storage investor Simon Hackett has taken delivery of a large battery storage array at his Adelaide-based IT company office, and says he will use it to help charge his Tesla Model S with solar power.

Hackett is talking the talk and walking the walk as executive chairman of Redflow, the Brisbane-based company that is rolling out residential and commercial applications of its zinc-bromine flow batteries, and taking on the might of Tesla, Panasonic, LG Chem, and Enphase in the growing energy storage market.

hackett tesla storageThe array Hackett has installed at Base64 is a container-size unit that contains 60 Redflow ZBM3 batteries. As well as running his 50-person premises for at least four days, the 660kWh Redflow battery array will let Hackett use solar power to charge one of his Tesla Model S electric vehicles at work – even in the middle on the night.

Hackett said the LSB (large scale battery) would store energy harvested from Base64’s existing array of 80 solar PV panels, reducing the company’s need for grid energy.

“It will provide us with an enormous degree of energy independence,” Hackett said in a statement.

“The Base64 energy system already has 20kW of solar PV capacity, with another 50kW coming online later this year. The LSB lets us time-shift that energy to when we need it, making us largely self-sufficient in energy production and consumption once our extra solar capacity is installed.

“This is also an important milestone for Redflow. As well as storing and supplying energy for Base64, this LSB showcases Redflow’s grid-scale energy storage solution and its capacity to work with renewable energy generation systems.”

The successful commissioning of the LSB at Base64 follows the company’s launch of its ZCell residential battery in Australia, which will be rolled out, initially to Redflow shareholders, from around June.

The LSB at Base64 is worth about $A730,000 and was delivered fully assembled. It integrates with an ABB PCS 100 inverter system, which interfaced into Base64’s three-phase energy feed.

The system can deliver a 200kW continuous energy output rate, with a 300kW peak, and includes full system control and monitoring hardware within the unit. Redflow says system does not require air-conditioning, fire alarms or a fire suppression system as Redflow batteries contain an electrolyte that is naturally fire retardant.

This article was originally published on RE sister site One Step Off The Grid. To sign up for the weekly newsletter, click here.  

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  • Phil

    That’s $1k aus per kwh allowing $70k for the install and inverter. (660kwh for $730k cost)

    The cycle life would want to be pretty awesome for that cost

    • Ian

      Is that a back handed compliment or what! Well said.

      Why do they try match lithium with their KWH to KW rating. The advantage of flow batteries is the cheapness of the electrolyte. They could still have the same Kw peak and continuous rating but a much higher KWH rating of say 2MWH, just by increasing the size of their electrolyte storage tanks.

      • Phil

        Another Lithium Versus ZBM difference is the round trip efficiency is only above 80% (refer link below ) . Lithium Ion is typically above 90%

        If you allow for this in an off or on grid situation and have a few more panels to make up for this it is no big deal. Albeit in an OFF grid situation you will need 2 x Zbm’s to maintain continuous power due the ZBM’s need to fully discharge regularly.

        But if your charging your batteries through the night in an ON grid situation to shift your Morning peak use out of peak periods then your paying for this 10% extra power loss directly as a larger power bill.Obviously your daytime solar to night time loadshift is not an issue unless the daytime is a partial charge only due bad weather.

        http://redflow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Redflow-Understanding-the-Redflow-Battery.pdf