Redflow ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries are now storing solar energy to provide a reliable power supply for a remote village in mountainous northern Thailand that has long lacked electricity.
In a project backed by the Thai Government, the village of Ban Pha Dan in Lamphun province is using solar cells to harvest energy and a high-performance hybrid battery system, including ZBM2s, to store energy for a village microgrid that is separated from the national electricity distribution network.
Ban Pha Dan, 70km south of the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, is a small village that has lacked access to electricity because it is surrounded by a wildlife reserve where power poles are forbidden. This microgrid project was initiated by Thailand’s Energy Ministry and the Renewable Energy for Sustainable Association with financial support from the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund.
Thailand’s Energy Minister Dr Siri Jirapongphan visited Ban Pha Dan to inspect the new microgrid and energy storage system in mid-January. Later that month, the Thailand National Energy Policy Council, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, approved Thailand’s Power Development Plan, which prioritises the development of renewable energy sources for the period 2018-2037.
Dr Jirapongphan said that non-fossil energy would account for 35 per cent of total capacity by 2037. Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris said the Ban Pha Dan deployment provided a compelling model for remote communities in both developing and developed countries.
“This solar-powered microgrid with energy storage shows how to provide environmentally-friendly energy for remote communities,” he said. “Without the cost and pollution of diesel generators, this system gives local people access to energy for lighting, refrigeration and water pumps, which significantly improves their quality of life.”