Redflow batteries to add VPP capabilities

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From pv magazine Australia

As digitalization continues to grow within the generation, distribution and transmission sectors, Brisbane-based battery supplier Redflow has upped the ante on its smart grid capabilities. Under a new collaboration with Melbourne-based smart-energy systems specialist carbonTRACK, Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow batteries will be enhanced with virtual power plant (VPP) capabilities to deliver added value for customers.

Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries will work with carbonTRACK’s energy management system to allow battery owners to manage, distribute and trade energy generated within an aggregated network of distributed energy resources. This will enable each customer to tailor their energy consumption according to their needs, while taking advantage of a system that already has a sunk cost.

“This delivers an important strategic capability by enabling Redflow batteries to become a part of a broader suite of energy assets that can be efficiently monitored, coordinated and controlled,” said Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris. “The investment we have made in our Battery Management System (BMS) is a critical enabler which will allow us to deliver VPP capability with carbonTRACK.”

CarbonTRACK and Redflow will initially explore opportunities to collaborate in the South African market, where they both have a presence. Redflow, for example, won a contract last year with one of Africa’s largest telecoms companies to provide 68 ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries for at least 20 mobile phone tower sites in harsh rural South African conditions.  

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The companies believe the challenges caused by the notorious unreliability of South Africa’s national electricity grid could provide multiple opportunities for Redflow’s energy storage solution to work with carbonTRACK’s intelligent energy utilization software. Their potential South African target customers include commercial and residential deployments, as well as offgrid energy systems. Their plan is to later target other markets, such as offgrid deployments in Australia.

Marketed as ZCell and ZBM2, Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries are designed for high cycle-rate, long time-base stationary energy storage applications in the residential, commercial and industrial and telecoms sectors. They are scalable from a single battery installation through to grid-scale deployments. 

“Redflow’s plug-and-play energy storage system, based on its robust zinc-bromine flow batteries, can shift and manage large volumes of energy,” carbonTRACK Managing Director Spiros Livadaras said. “Our technology complements Redflow’s ability to self-manage, protect and monitor their batteries 24/7.”

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