Battery storage of energy poised to increase renewable energy systems, especially in remote areas
the way the world generates electricity and delivers it to customers is undergoing fundamental change, be it towards smart grids or green grids, and scalable energy storage solutions, such as batteries, will be a key part of the industry in the future.
Redflow is one of only a handful of manufacturers of “flow” batteries, which Winter says are better able to manage long-term storage than lithium ion or other battery standards…..
Energy storage group Redflow works to recharge batteries BY: GILES PARKINSON The Australian July 20, 2012 WHEN Brisbane-based battery storage developer Redflow listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in November 2010, it quickly became a market darling: the prospect of a cost-effective battery in a market increasingly hungry for storage capacity to manage demand peaks and the influx of renewables seemed irresistible.
Redflow shares quickly jumped to a peak of $1.70 for a market capitalisation of well more than $100 million before enthusiasm began to wane. Earlier this year, the bottom fell out when the company admitted its business plan was overly optimistic and any manufacturing deals would have to be put on hold……Chris Winter, who co-invented the company’s key product, a zinc-bromine “flow” battery in a Brisbane back yard in 2001, took the reins again.
Redflow has recognised that the process of testing and demonstrating
the technology, particularly with the large partners it is dealing
with, is likely to take several years longer than it had once thought.
A manufacturing deal with Jabil in Singapore has been delayed, and the
company is working with new customers.
But Winter says he is as optimistic as ever.
The first reason is the market. He says the way the world generates electricity and delivers it to customers is undergoing fundamental change, be it towards smart grids or green grids, and scalable energy storage solutions, such as batteries, will be a key part of the industry in the future.
The second reason is the emergence of “system integrators”, large multinationals that are looking to pool various technologies such as solar or another energy source, with IT systems and storage to offer energy solutions to remote areas or grids struggling to cope with peak demand.
The company says it is talking to two such groups, one a “large US
defence contractor”, and at least one other multinational.
The third reason is competition. Redflow is one of only a handful of manufacturers of “flow” batteries, which Winter says are better able to manage long-term storage than lithium ion or other battery standards…..
Redflow’s core product is a 10kW battery with a 5kW peak capacity,
which can be added together to provide greater capacity. It has been
trialled with solar PV installations in Queensland, in smart grid
trials, and on rural networks in Queensland.
Redflow says balancing solar PV, which is falling rapidly in cost, and
extending its reach into evening peaks, and in off-grid situations
replacing diesel, are two key markets. Five trials in various
situations are under way in the US.
A recent report by US-based Lux Research suggests that the zinc
bromide battery market should be able to capture about 19 per cent of
the estimated $US113.5 billion ($109bn) revenue opportunity by 2017.
Given that Redflow is one of only a handful of such manufacturers, and
Winter says it is ahead of the rest, he wonders who will fill that
Here’s another number that he offers: the world last year generated 22
trillion kilowatt hours of electricity. If one millionth of that was
stored, it would create a multi-billion-dollar market. Another Lux
report suggests there would be a $16bn market in the US alone for
batteries that could deliver at $700/kWh.
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