Redflow batteries in Fiji – to power Digital TV rollout.

Redflow batteries in Fiji – Redflow Limited have shipped $1.2m of Redflow ZBM2 batteries to assist Fiji in rolling out digital TV for its population, according to a press release by the Brisbane/Thailand based company.

Redflow batteries in Fiji

Auckland-based telecommunications infrastructure company Hitech Solutions will install the Redflow batteries in Fiji and have ordered US $1.2m of Redflow’s ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries to store and supply renewable energy which will then power the island’s digital TV.

Redflow Batteries in Fiji - Hitech CEO Derek Gaeth
Redflow Batteries in Fiji – Hitech CEO Derek Gaeth (source: Redflow Press Release)

Hitech will install 5-60 ZBM2 batteries at more than 10 sites in Fiji. Many of these locations are on hills and don’t have access to the country’s electricity grid, so they require energy storage instead.

Redflow CEO Simon Hackett said in a press release that this repeat large sale (Hitech bought the batteries in two separate orders) shows how ZBM2 batteries can displace conventional lead-acid batteries for network power applications in demanding and/or remote environments. “

We are delighted that Hitech has again chosen Redflow batteries,” he said. “This second major sale confirms the unique advantages of our zinc-bromine flow batteries for this high-workload deployment in the tropics. The ZBM2 excels in hot environments and for applications that require high cycle depth and cycle frequency, such as the deployment Hitech is undertaking. This sort of environment and use case wears out lead-acid batteries in relatively short order, requiring their frequent replacement, whereas ZBM2s thrive on heat and hard work.

“We look forward to working with Hitech to ensure its imminent deployments of remote energy systems are successful in a variety of site sizes.”

Redflow’s 10 kilowatt-hour (kWh) ZBM2 is, according to the manufacturer, the world’s smallest zinc-bromine flow battery. The ZBM2 runs at a native 48 volts DC, which means it’s simple to install and deployable in scalable parallel clusters which means high availability, high scale deployments at the largest sites.

The ZBM2 battery comes with a 10-year or 36,500 kWh warranty – a much longer operating life than lead-acid batteries, which are typically replaced every 18-36 months when used in warm climates.

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Redflow Thai-stack batteries ZBM2 – filling backorders.

Redflow, who moved their battery manufacturing to Thailand last year, have announced that the first Redflow Thai-stack batteries are now fully complete and ready for customers to purchase. The ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow battery is Redflow’s flagship energy storage product – it looks like it’s almost ready to debut their Thai manufactured version. 

Redflow Thai-stack batteries now ready for customers

Redflow Thai-stack batteries ZBM2
The first Redflow Thai-stack batteries (ZBM2)
 
According to a press release on the Redflow website, the Thai-made battery stacks were installed on pre-existing ZBM2 battery tank sets and thoroughly tested – passing all pre-delivery tests with flying colours. As such, these completed batteries are now ready to supply existing customer orders. 
 
We reported back in January that they had completed their first battery stacks so it’s great to see them now fully complete and ready to start filling orders of (presumably very patient) customers. Redflow announced in December last year that they had successfully started manufacturing core components for the zinc-bromine flow batteries at its new production facility – so it’s been a fast and relatively seamless transition over to Thailand. Hopefully the lower operating costs can help make these batteries compete with other ‘big name’ options such as the Powerwall 2 or the BYD B-Box
 
Redflow CEO Richard Aird was quoted in the press release as discussing how the  ZBM2 batteries with Thai-made battery stacks have passed the most “critical” hurdle, are now ready to start filling backorders and it should be easier from here:  “Our first requirement of the new factory is quality components, which it is now producing in the electrode stack – the most complex and critical part of our product,” he said.

“Our pre-delivery tests have confirmed that these complete batteries, using Thai-made stacks and existing battery tank sets, perform to standard, so we are now scheduling deliveries to start supplying outstanding back orders.”

 
 

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Redflow News: to move manufacturing to Thailand

A lot of Redflow news recently – the Australian solar battery manufacturer has had a fairly tumultuous 2017, with the temporarily halt in delivery of their zCell batteries to fix some operational issues, to a steadily sinking share price. The last couple of months had had more positive news, with an $800,000 sale of its ZBM2 batteries to New Zealand company Hitech Solutions and the establishment of a company in Thailand to manage the manufacturing process of its zinc-bromide flow batteries in South East Asia.

Redflow News: Equity, Thailand, Change in Direction..

Redflow News - ZBM2 Solar Battery
Redflow News – ZBM2 Solar Battery

Redflow Limited made a statement to the ASX on August 17 where they noted that the final North American production batch of ZBM2 batteries is now in transit to Australia. They have a new manufacturing partner, Malaysian based MPTS, who have been a long term supplier of components for the Redflow battery. They have moved their manufacturing base from Flex in Mexico to Thailand, and have cut staff in Europe and the US in order to streamline operating costs.

They also completed an equity raising round via a share placement of $10.5 million in two portions to investors and another $4 million in shares to Hackett CP Nominees Pty Ltd (i.e. Redflow CEO Simon Hackett).

Hackett was positive about the future of the company, noting that “In May Redflow recorded its largest sale to date, to an energy systems integrator working in the telecommunications and network power sector.”

Meanwhile, Redflow Chief Operating Officer Richard Aird discussed the impact of moving manufacturing locations and hinted towards their plans for the future, posting on the Redflow website that “The activities Redflow is undertaking to transition manufacturing and to implement key product cost-down projects are critical to the future success of the company,”.

This comes off the back of a statement by Redflow that they were less bullish about the future of their ZBM2 zinc-bromide flow batteries in the residential sector in Australia, given the rapid sink in cost of mass produced lithium ion batteries and being unable to match these prices. A statement from the company advised that a strategic review has necessitated a change in focus:

“The review anticipates that this may not translate into strong sustained sales growth in the mid and late majority residential market, due to the price-sensitivity of competitive, highly commoditised markets, which tend to prioritise a low purchase price over technical advantages, such as those offered by Zinc-Bromine flow batteries.”

Quite a big quarter for Redflow news and we’ll be interested to see how its move into large arrays of battery storage goes – the company has identified that they will focus on more mature markets – industrial, commercial, off-grid, telecommunications companies where they will look to replace existing lead acid battery with their zinc-bromide offering.

Will the $800,000 sale to Hitech Solutions be a flash in the pan or a harbinger of things to come? It’s great to see how they have been flexible in terms of moving around their operational focus – hopefully this new focus will prove to be more fruitful than their foray into the residential market.

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Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Release Date, Price, Specs, and Competitors.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Release Date

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia 2018 update: you can get a Powerwall 2 in Australia from a number of different vendors. It depends on which state you’re in – they’re still in hot demand and there are a few states where they’re a bit difficult to come by. If you’re interested in the different energy storage options available to you, please check our solar battery comparison articles (or simply scroll down this article to learn more) – there’s plenty to read up on!

Also have a look at the case study on Gizmodo of a Melbourne man who says the Powerwall 2 will drop his power bill to $0.

According to the Tesla website, there is a ‘May 2017’ install date for Australia. Please note that this has changed a few times already and Tesla have moved the goalposts in other ways, such as removing the DC version of the Powerwall 2, so don’t bet the house on it. But we think Q2 2017 will see some Powerwalls in Australian houses! Watch this space and we’ll be reporting as soon as the first Powerwall 2’s start appearing in Australian homes.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia
The Tesla Powerwall 2 in action.

You can use the search function on the Tesla website to locate Australian stores, galleries, and service centers – just click here!

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Price

One 14kWh Powerwall battery is priced at $8,000 AUD. Two will cost you $16,000 AUD, and so on. According to the official Tesla site the ‘supporting hardware’ comes to $750 – and if you buy multiple Powerwalls you will only have to pay this $750 once. Please note this price excludes retailer/distributor connection charges which apply in some parts of Australia (more detailed information about this soon). It also excludes installation, which ranges from $1,150 to $2,900 plus permit fees, as per Tesla’s site.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Specs

The Powerwall 2 is substantially upgraded in almost every way from its predecessor, featuring:

  • 1150mm long, 755mm wide, 155mm diameter. (45″ x 30″ x 6″)
  • 14kWh battery (13.5kWh ‘Usable Capacity’)
  • 7kW peak power, 5kW continuous power.
  • Wall or floor mountable, indoor or outdoor.
  • 10 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Scalable (up to 10 Powerwall 2’s)
  • Integrated Inverter (converts the DC energy into AC energy you need to use in your house)
  • Liquid Cooling
  • Control and view your energy usage/storage with the Tesla app (iOS and Android)
  • Weighs 125kg (276 pounds)
  • Degradation – it will hold around 70% of the 13.5kWh after 10 years.
  • 90% ’round’ trip efficiency.

Earlier this year Tesla were taking orders for a DC (i.e. without an included inverter) version of the Powerwall 2 but this has since been discontinued. The only available version of the Powerwall 2 is the AC version with inverter already built. If you’ve already got panels and an inverter it might be worth looking at alternatives to the Powerwall 2. LG Chem produces the RES7H and RESU10H (follow this link to SolarQuotes who have other great information) with 6.6 and 9.3 kilowatt-hours of usable storage respectively.

Is The Tesla Powerwall Worth It?

Let’s crunch the numbers. Obviously costs and prices will differ from household to household so plug in your own costs to see if a Tesla Powerwall is right for you. Let’s assume you can store the maximum of 13.5kwh each day, and you’ve changed your power plan to peak/offpeak (read more here). Let’s also assume an installation cost of $10,000 AUD ($8,750 to Tesla and $1,250 to cover installation and connection charges / permit fees).

The current off-peak price is around 10c/kWh and the peak price 30c/kWh (in comparison to the ‘standard’ everyday price of ~25c/kWh).

If you were to use all 13.5kWh in peak times, this would save you $2.70 a day, or $985.50 p.a.  (30c – 10c = 20c) (20 c x 13.5) (2.70 x 365).

By the 10th year, assuming the stated 30% degradation, you would have 9.45kWh which represents a saving of $1.89 a day, or $689.85 p.a.

You can use NREL’s PVWatts calculator to find out exactly how much sun you can expect at your residence. It’s a bit complicated but an amazing tool for those who want to get granular about the postential for solar savings.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia is only useful for some people at this point in time – solar panel and energy storage technology is coming along in leaps and bounds so this will only get more economical. There are also other options that may suit your individual circumstances.

Tesla Powerwall Competitors and Alternatives

There are a number of Tesla Powerwall alternatives – some would argue that you’re paying for the ‘prestige’ of the name. Always do your research before you buy something based on advertising or what your friends say – solar and solar storage come down to your individual requirements. It’s definitely worthwhile to carefully measure the numbers before you commit to anything!

And without further ado, have a look at some of your other choices – they may not be as sleek, but utilitarian can be sexy too:

Redflow Zinc Bromide ZBM2 – 10kWh ‘flow’ battery (click to view)

Redflow ZBM2 Flow
Redflow ZBM2 Zinc Bromide 10kWh Flow Battery
  • 10 kWh capacity.
  • 100% usable capacity
  • Warranty for 36,500 kWh or 10 years.
  • Flat voltage curve (charge 100% capacity with constant power – unlike lithium ion)
  • Web based management system with MODBUS communication software.
  • 240kg with electrolyte.

LG Chem RESU (Residential Energy Storage Unit)

LG Chem RESU
LG Chem RESU Energy Storage
  • 3 48volt DC models (RESU3.3, RESU6.5, RESU10).
  • 2 400v models (RESU7H, RESU10H).
  • Lithium Ion technology with 90-95% usable capacity.
  • On grid / Off grid installation options.
  • AC/DC coupling available, depending on your solar panels.
  • Much smaller than the Powerwall.
  • Easy installation.

SonnenBatterie Eco 8.2 battery system (click to view)

SonnenBatterie Eco Australia
SonnenBatterie Eco 8.2
  • 4-16kWh capacity (modular design which increases in 2kWh increments).
  • Easy to retrofit to your existing panels.
  • Compatible with all panels.
  • 10year / 10,000 cycle warranty.
  • 2.5 cycles per day (2.5x ‘value’ and faster payback).
  • Inverter included.
  • Online management with ‘self learning algorithm’ (automatically decides the best times to charge and supply).
  • Proper UPS and automatic blackout protection with SonnenBatterie Protect 1300.
  • Reliable supplier who has been making these batteries since 2008.

Fronius Energy Package (click to view)

 Fronius Energy Package Solarwall.
Fronius Energy Package Solarwall
  • Six products configured in blocks of 1.5kWh (Fronius Solar Battery 4.5, 6.0, 7.5, 9.0, 10.5, 12.0 with 3.6, 4.8, 6.0, 7.2,8.4 and 9.6 kWh respectively)
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate technology.
  • Indoor installation required.
  • LiFePO4 battery technology.
  • AC integrated (hybrid) inverter – store the power as DC until you need it: extra efficiency – all the benefits of both AC and DC coupling!
  • 2 cycles per day.
  • They have a current rebate offer for purchase orders placed before July 31, 2017.

Enphase AC battery / storage system (click to view)

Enphase AC Storage System
Enphase AC Storage System
  • 1.2kWh capacity (modular – so install as many as you need – 1.2kWh won’t get you far).
  • Roundtrip cell efficiency: 96%.
  • Online monitoring software.
  • 2 cycles per day (double ‘value’ and faster payback).
  • Lithium-iron phosphate material and prismatic cells from Eliiy Power.
  • AC only – no high voltage DC involved in system (microinverters under the solar panels convert DC to AC – click here to read more).
  • Over 17,000 Enphase systems installed in Australia.

Global NRG silicone rechargeable battery (click to view)

Global NRG Silicone Rechargeable Battery
Global NRG Silicone Rechargeable Battery
  • Touted as the ‘first green battery in the world’.
  • Silicate Compound electrolyte.
  • Rapid charging time.
  • Their website is extremely poor but we’re following this one with interest too.

BYD B-Box (click to view)

BYD B-Box Australia
BYD B-Box Australia
  • BYD are the biggest supplier of lithium ion batteries in the world (market cap of ~$22b)
  • Modular design
  • 2.4KwH – 10KwH (B-Box 2.5, B-Box 5.0, B-Box 7.5, B-Box 10.0)
  • Safe lithium Iron Phosphate material
  • Needs a hybrid inverter (purchase separately from SMA, GoodWe, SolaX, and Victron)
  • AC/DC Coupling.
  • B-Box 10 can supply 10.24kilowatts of power continuously (much higher than almost every other battery if this is important to you – but please note this depends on inverter choice as well)
  • Peak power 20kilowatts for 3 minutes (also depends on inverter choice).
  • Indoor or outdoor installation.

Eaton Nissan xStorage

Eaton Nissan xStorage
Eaton Nissan xStorage
  • 4.2kWh, 6kWh, and 9.6kWh options available.
  • Single Phase / Three Phase Compatible
  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Inverter Included
  • 97% system efficiency
  • Smartphone connectivity
  • Price includes installation (in UK/EU)
  • Not currently available in Australia

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Installation

Tesla Powerwall 2’s are being installed in Australia right now. Read our Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation overview!

 Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date

No word yet about the Powerwall 3, but as soon as there are any whispers, we’ll have them here. Compared to Powerwall 1, the Powerwall 2 has 40% more peak power, 50% more continuous power, double the storage capacity, an included inverter, and all for the same price. For some people it’s a viable cost-saving option – so if the Powerwall 3 can come even close to some of these improvements from the previous models, we’ll be well on our way for it to be a no brainer to have a solar PV system + energy storage on every roof in the country.

 Tesla Powerwall 2 New Zealand Installation and Price

According to FutureFive, the first New Zealand installation of a Tesla Powerwall 2 occured on August 24, 2017, in a Queenstown home. It was installed by Vector subsidiary PowerSmart Solar and they expect to install many more over the coming months. PowerSmart will also be installing New Zealand’s second Powerwall 2, but after that there are a number of other suppliers who are Tesla Certified and will be offering the product to Kiwis.

The RRP for a Tesla Powerwall 2 (including a Tesla Gateway) is $18,000 NZD for a single 14kWh (13.5 usable kWh) device.

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