Australian battery technology for remote sites

Emerson Network Power
Monday, 02 September, 2013

Emerson Network Power and Australian engineering and manufacturing company RedFlow have formed a partnership to take RedFlow’s flow battery storage technology into new markets.

Plans are already underway for a trial with a telecommunications company located in the Asia-Pacific region and the two companies are in discussion with a European-based telecommunications company.

Under the agreement, Emerson Network Power will integrate its solar energy solutions with RedFlow’s zinc bromide module (ZBM) flow batteries to provide power to remote sites that lack continuous power.

“Our battery technology is ideally suited to the telco market as it uses the same DC voltage - allowing 100% discharge - and operates in temperatures up to 50°C,” said Stuart Smith, CEO of RedFlow. “Compare this to the lead acid batteries traditionally used in the telco sector that can only discharge to 80% and need air conditioning in ambient temperatures over 25°C to ensure ongoing performance.”

RedFlow, a Queensland-based company, provides modular zinc bromide flow batteries which are claimed to lower the cost and complexity of potential implementations and enable users to easily add more units as needed.

“RedFlow’s technology also offers customers a range of environmental benefits,” said Ross Campbell, vice president for Emerson Network Power’s Energy Systems business in Asia. “Because they can be fully discharged, fewer batteries are needed to power a site and there is less need to call on back-up generators. Also, because the RedFlow batteries function in ambient temperatures of up to 50°C they are less likely to need an air-conditioned environment.

“In addition, whereas industry standards recommend that lead acid batteries are replaced every five years with the consequential environmental impacts, the RedFlow ZBM batteries have largely plastic components which are expected to be less of an issue with hazardous waste.”

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