Redflow’s Energy Pod Z module is an enclosure containing 16 of the Australian company's 10 kW zinc-bromine flow batteries, plus the power conversion technology to deliver stored electricity at high voltages.
“We think that’s probably the start of the building blocks that we need to go and target larger megawatt hour systems,” Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris told pv magazine Australia. “It allows us to step into that higher voltage space that’s going to be necessary for large-scale industrial and commercial and potential utility elements, so that’s a major development for us.”
Redflow’s batteries are typically 48-volts, which has been a limitation for the company – especially for large-scale installations. The hope is that its Energy Pod Z module will resolve this problem. It integrates technology from a European power electronics company and can turn low voltages to between 800 V to 900 V.
Each of the Energy Pod Z modules contains 160 kWh of energy storage and is able to push and pull energy at 60 kW, according to Redflow’s System Integration Architect Simon Hackett. It was Hackett’s job to integrate the European technology with its Redflow battery pods.
“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,” Hackett said. “This is the key for us. 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.”
The Energy Pod Z modules stem from Redflow’s AUD 1.5 million ($1.2 million) deal to supply 192 zinc-bromine flow batteries to waste-conversion specialist Anaergia at its Rialto Bioenergy Facility in southern California. Redflow designed the pod to meet Anaergia’s requirements for 2 MWh of energy storage. This has in turn acted as a springboard for the company to launch into what Hackett calls its “high-voltage, high-capacity, grid-scale future.”
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