New CellCube installation at the University of New South Wales – the cradle of Vanadium Redox batteries


30 years ago, in 1985, the first Vanadium Redox battery was invented by Professor Skyllas-Kazacos and her team at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Australia). Her research was groundbreaking and essential for advancing the energy storage technology. Today, according to a study by Lux Research, already 75 MWh of Vanadium Redox Flow batteries are deployed.

One of those Vanadium-Redox-Flow energy storage installations is the GILDEMEISTER energy solutions CellCube at the UNSW.

The CellCube FB 30-130 with a power output of 30 kW and a storage capacity of 130 kWh was put into operation in June. It is able to take up surplus energy from a 150 kWp photovoltaic system. Additionally it is used for research at the Australian Energy Research Institute.

One research purpose is a hardware in-the-loop testing system that can be built by using the Vanadium-Redox-Flow battery and the real time digital system. This enables the experimental evaluation of various power management algorithms for the Vanadium Redox battery support of photovoltaic plants in the Australian national electricity market.

Herewith the application of a storage system in interaction with photovoltaic systems can be modeled. Also the CellCube will work as part of the power demand management system of the Tyree Energy Technology Building, and provide energy to emergency lights and the telecommunication infrastructure in case of power breakdowns.

The installation of the CellCube in the basement of the Tyree Building was completed under difficult conditions, as the storage system had to be dismantled and reassembled in a narrow space. This first case was completed in a very short time. All parties involved were highly positive about the successful and smooth handling of the project which confirms the choice for the CellCube. The worldwide application of the storage system in different operating conditions underlines its reliability and success.

The application of the CellCube also goes in line with the green concept of the Tyree Energy Technologies Building which has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star Design by the Green Building Council of Australia. The building, which was completed in 2012, is the new home of most of the UNSW energy related research activities including the Australian Energy Research Institute which has a clear focus on promoting sustainable energy technologies.

The integration of a Vanadium-Redox-Flow storage system was made possible by the investment of AGL Energy and First Solar which got a government grant under the Solar Flagship Program in 2012. Part of this money was redistributed to the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales in order to conduct research on energy storage applications.

The GILDEMEISTER energy solutions is very proud to provide a CellCube for the inventors of the Vanadium-Redox-Flow battery and to be part of the further research at the UNSW.