Australian battery storage developer Redflow expects commercial production of its unique “flow battery” to commence later this year after signing a manufacturing agreement with US giant Flextronics.
The Brisbane-based company says its zinc bromine flow battery will be the first of its type of enter large scale production. It already has two confirmed customers – Emerson and Raytheon – and hopes to announce more in coming months.
“This is a significant milestone for Redflow,” CEO Stuart Smith told RenewEconomy.
“The Redflow ZBM battery will be the first flow battery globally to enter large scale production and several are currently being integrated into prototype energy storage systems with large system integrators.”
Redflow’s core product is a flow battery that avoids some of the charging issues and limitations that affect other battery technologies, such as lead acid and lithium-ion.
The company says the daily deep charge and discharge capability makes it ideal for storage and shifting of intermittent renewable energy, and managing peak load or supporting off-grid systems.
Its core product so far is a 3kW/8kWh battery. A large, 90kW version has been deployed at the University of Queensland’s 1.2MW rooftop solar PV array, and telecommunications group Emerson will deploy it to provide power to remote sites along its networks of poles and wires.
Redflow believes the global opportunities for cost-effective energy storage solutions are immense – for electric and hybrid vehicles, distributed energy and utility grid storage .
Smith noted that Flextronics was one of the world’s biggest end-to-end supply chain solutions company, with annual revenues of nearly $25 billion. Production is expected to begin in 6-9 months.
“This agreement will allow the ramp up of volume production to meet targeted sales over the next 12 months, and will see the Redflow ZBM module being manufactured by a significant global manufacturer with a history of manufacturing excellence.”
Flextronics was chosen from a short-list of 10 candidates. “We look forward to working with Redflow in addressing the growing need for energy storage with this innovative product that can be implemented across multiple system integrators and applications,” said Jeannine Sargent, the head of energy at Flextronics.
Redflow stock have doubled in the past 3 months to around 17c, although its stock remains at one tenth of its value after its stock exchange listing, and before a major restructuring that focused on battery development and delayed the timetable for manufacturing production.