Australia’s Redflow has taken the wraps off its high-voltage energy storage product for grid-scale applications – the Energy Pod Z.
In March this year, Redflow announced it had secured a deal to supply a 2 MWh energy storage system comprised of 192 zinc-bromine flow batteries to Anaergia, Inc.’s Rialto Bioenergy Facility in San Bernardino County, California. The facility will be North America’s largest organic waste digester facility, converting 700 tonnes of organic waste and 300 tonnes of biosolids into biogas each day.
The agreement represents Redflow’s largest single sale and deployment of batteries anywhere in the world to date.
At the time of the agreement being signed, Redflow Managing Director & CEO Tim Harris said the project provided the “ideal use case” for Redflow’s zinc-bromine flow batteries.
” Our batteries thrive on heat and hard work, which is exactly what Anaergia requires from them.”
The facility will be provided with 12 Energy Pod Z units, each containing 16 Redflow batteries and advanced electronics to take the 48-volt batteries’ output and bring it up to 800 – 900 volts; necessary for grid-scale applications.
“We’re seeing here the start of the high-voltage, high-capacity, grid-scale future for Redflow,” said Simon Hackett, Redflow’s System Integration Architect.
Mr. Hackett says that in the past, the company has had challenges in getting above “30,40,50” batteries in one installation at the normal 48 volts.
“Once you run this sort of advanced high voltage system, the sky’s the limit”, said Mr. Hackett. “Each of these boxes gives you 160 kilowatt-hours and can push and pull energy at 50 kilowatts.”
Mr. Hackett said the Energy Pod Z represented the start of and the proof point for Redflow to both enter and operate in the grid-scale energy market.
“This is a big thing for us. This is a place we’ve wanted to be for ages, this is where the action is; especially in California.”
At this point, the company intends deploying the Energy Pod Z in California in September of this year.
What’s Happening With The Redflow Gen3?
The Energy Pod Z in the video is comprised of ZBM2 batteries, which are the world’s smallest commercially available flow battery and also form the basis of ZCell, Redflow’s home battery product. You can find specifications of the ZCell (and a bunch of other residential energy storage systems) on SQ’s solar battery comparison table.
The company has been working on a new model called the Gen3 for quite some time now. Through the Gen3, Redflow has previously stated it is confident of achieving a 30% reduction in manufacturing costs.
It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good as they say – Redflow stated COVID-19 provided the company with the opportunity to accelerate its work on the Gen3 battery.
Customer trials of the Redflow Gen3 kicked off in December last year and in an earnings conference call in late February this year, Redflow stated it anticipated commencing Gen3 battery production in Thailand in the second half of this year. The company has a lot riding on the Gen3, stating it is “core to our commercial success”.
The intention is to use the ZBM2’s (actually called the ZBM2.5) for the Energy Pod Z initially, and then the Gen3 in the future.