Brisbane-based zinc-bromine flow battery maker Redflow has lifted the veil on its grid-scale storage offering, dubbed Energy Pod Z, which it says forms the foundation for the company to start delivering large, megawatt-hour energy storage systems.
The new battery energy storage system was previewed on Monday in a video featuring Redflow managing director and CEO Tim Harris and the company’s biggest shareholder and system integration architect, Simon Hackett.
Harris and Hackett explained in the video that the Pod Z was designed to provide 2MWh of energy storage for the Anaergia Rialto Bioenergy Facility in southern California (pictured below), a project that has delivered Redflow’s largest battery order.
“So not only is the Anaergia project our largest battery order, it’s really the foundation for us to go into larger megawatt-hour …systems,” Harris said.
Hackett, who has in the past served as CEO of Redflow, too, said each Pod Z combined 16 of Redflow’s 10kWh ZBM2 flow batteries and a set of advanced electronics that brought the system up to the high voltage required for grid-scale applications.
“Normally, our batteries are 48 volt batteries. What we’re adding here is some technology from a great European company that makes power electronics that are suited to flow batteries, suited to our applications, that turn that low voltage into 800-900 volts,” Hackett said in the video.
“The point of doing that is when you want to deploy many megawatts of power when you don’t just have a few batteries – you want hundreds of batteries, ultimately thousands of batteries – you need to do that at high voltage.
“So this is the key for us,” Hackett added. “Once you have this thing in the field, you can essentially have as many as you like…once you run this sort of advanced high-voltage system, the sky’s the limit.”
Hackett said his role in the development of the Pod Z had been as battery management system architect, leading the software engineering effort to take Redflow’s existing battery management system and teach it how to run the high voltage power cluster.
“That’s doing extremely well and we’re looking forward to firing this particular unit up very soon and driving energy in and out of this first Pod,” he said.
Harris said the company was on track to deploy 12 of Pods into Anaergia in California later this year, but had ambitions to deliver a lot more.
“They’re all based on our existing 10 kilowatt-hour system that’s hopefully going to give us economies of scale, and we can start to bring automation and drive down the cost of those batteries,” he said.
“What we’re doing here is leveraging an awful lot of experience in building the world’s smallest flow battery, but now turning it into something that can go to the highest of grid scales,” added Hackett.